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Our People: Will Ethelston – Going for Gold!

On the 23 April, Will Ethelston, Finance Director from Bunzl Catering Supplies took on the mammoth challenge of the London Marathon to raise money for a charity called the Queen Elizabeth Foundation.

Will joined more than 40 thousand runners hoping to cross the finish line after a 26.2-mile journey,  all raising money for charitable causes.

Demonstrating how you can be active whilst doing some good – Will would encourage others to take part in the London Marathon, to experience the energy from the crowd and the tremendous sense of achievement upon finishing.

To find out more please read the full interview with Will below:

A series of blogs recognising and celebrating people in our business who actively support local and international community and charity projects.

An interview with Will Ethelston (Finance Director):

Q:  Why did you choose to run the London Marathon?

This is the second time I have run the London Marathon raising money for charity.  I am an active person and I enjoy running and wanted to be active whilst doing good.

With the marathon this year, I wanted to raise money for a very important charity I have supported for years. Based in Epsom, it’s called the Queen Elizabeth Foundation.  The Queen Elizabeth Foundation is so important for the local community because they fund and run rehabilitation homes and offer outreach support for individuals and families living with neurological disabilities.

The charity currently supports 400 disabled individuals, providing training, support and life style solutions with the aim of ensuring that every individual achieves their life goals.

Bunzl Catering Supplies has been a supporter for this charity for many years and it is important to me to make sure that this relationship continues.

Q: Is there a particular reason why you chose this charity?

When I was working for Bunzl plc, the Queen Elizabeth Foundation approached us directly for the Prudential 100 cycle ride and I instantly volunteered, not only because they needed the support, but because the charity holds such a special meaning to me.

The reason the charity holds such a special meaning to me is because my wife works for a similar charity which supports people with cerebral palsy.  She tells me about the challenges she deals with every day and the emotional toll such a job takes on you.  People like my wife who dedicate their lives to such work are remarkable and I wanted to show my support for her work and the work of others by raising money for the Queen Elizabeth Foundation.

Q: What was the atmosphere like on the day?

It was electric! What kept me going those 26 miles was the crowd’s energy and their endless support  – it was an amazing feeling.  I had so many people cheering me on and calling my name, I felt like a celebrity.

Towards the last 10 miles the hot weather really got to me.  I began to struggle when I reached the 16-mile point at Canary Wharf, I think it’s because I had previously only trained up to 16-miles and I had hit a mental barrier.  However due to the crowd’s energy and the atmosphere of the event I kept going.

Q: How much money did you raise for the Queen Elizabeth Foundation?

In total, I raised £3,000 and this would not be without the tremendous support from my Bunzl Catering Supplies colleagues, as well as friends and family.  I also have to thank the Bunzl Catering Supplies Purchasing Director, Tony Sullivan, who was really helpful raising money from suppliers, in particular, I must mention Huhtamaki, SCA and BPI who were extremely generous.  To top things off, Bunzl UK & Ireland matched the amount.

I know that the money raised is going towards purchasing mobility scooters for children, which makes me feel very proud.

Q: Would you encourage others to take part in the London Marathon next year?

It’s a once in a lifetime experience which I have had the privilege to do twice and I would definitely encourage anyone to take part in the London Marathon.  To experience the energy and support of the crowd, as well as the sense of achievement is truly incredible. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication however the end result is extremely rewarding.

Running the marathon has also inspired me to get others in our business more active and encourage them to be more active whilst doing good too.

Q:  Will you be running next year?

Assuming I get permission from my wife, yes.

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