A London Marathon runner and a balloon ride

We love it when we get to hear how the money raised through fundraising events is used. Here, Richard, a Support Worker and one of our London Marathon runners from 2016, tells his story.

I was fortunate enough to get a ballot place for the 2016 Virgin London Marathon. As a MacIntyre employee I was aware of the then 50th celebrations and thought it would be nice to run for MacIntyre, fly the flag (or at least the vest) and raise a few pounds.

The marathon itself was ok and would have been a little more enjoyable if I had trained a little more – but that is often the case! I was really pleased with the huge shout outs from the MacIntyre supporters as I ran.

What I hadn’t expected was to be asked how I wanted the money that I raised to be used! As a MacIntyre employee, I’m in a position to affect the people that I support and make a positive difference to their lives. This was a unique opportunity and after a lot of thought it was decided that part of the money would go to a service in Flitwick to be put towards a seaside trip, which took place in the summer.

I’m Jason’s Linkworker and I knew that he had always wanted to go on a balloon flight so I decided that the rest of the money would go on this unique trip. It was all arranged, booked up and after only one cancellation the flight took place in late October in Milton Keynes.

It was a cold morning and a little damp but still as can be. Jason seemed a little nervous but overall excited. However, as someone who is not a fan of heights, my support stopped at the edge of the balloon basket, but Jason was more than happy to climb on board and join the other 14 people in the balloon. They all made him really welcome and he took up position next to the pilot, under the burner.

With a quick burn the balloon was airborne and Jason was off, waving like mad! I next saw him around 2 hours later when he was brought back in a mini bus, clutching a certificate and a very big grin. Jason was absolutely beaming and talking about when he can do it again.

As a Support Worker this has been a really great day to see how we can make that big difference; it has been an absolute pleasure! This day will be long spoken of. I think his next adventure might be a tandem parachute jump, so I may have to get my running shoes on again…

Richard Hollingsworth
Support Worker, Milton Keynes and Flitwick services

Telephone 01908 230100 Email hello@macintyrecharity.org