Ashley Grote, from Norwich, will take on the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 22 April 2018 in a giant bear costume to raise vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
He will join more than 39,000 runners at the UK’s largest Marathon, as he negotiates the stunning 26.2 mile course passing London’s iconic landmarks.
A Master of Music at Norwich Cathedral, Ashley is taking part to support the charity to say thank you for the care his daughter Emily received for a rare brain tumour.
Ashley has so far raised over £56,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and this will be the fourth time he’ll be taking part in the race for Team GOSH. He’s had great support from his local community in Norwich, in particular the congregation at Norwich Cathedral where he directs the Cathedral choirs and manages the music department. Ashley has had a busy year; as well as running, he is a keen cook and recently appeared as a contestant on the 2018 series of BBC ‘MasterChef’.
“I’m delighted to be running my fourth London Marathon for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, but this year’s attempt has a twist! To add to my Marathon challenge, I will be dressed as Bernard Bear, GOSH Charity’s official mascot.
“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Great Ormond Street Hospital after all that the staff have done for my daughter Emily since her diagnosis back in June 2014. Emily is now doing amazingly well and her tumour is now stable. It is a great joy and blessing to see her thriving at school and growing up so fast. Not only do we continue to depend on Great Ormond Street Hospital for their support, but every day there are other children and families who arrive at the hospital embarking on similar journeys. I would be immensely grateful for any support I can get to my fundraising page as I run around London in a rather hot bear costume!”
More than 300 runners will be taking part on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity who are hoping to raise more than £600,000. All the money raised will go towards the hospital’s most urgent fundraising needs. These include pioneering research to find treatments for the most complex childhood illnesses, providing advanced equipment and supporting the rebuilding and refurbishment of the hospital to provide state-of-the-art facilities to match the hospital’s world-class care.
Laura Savory, Head of Community Fundraising at Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, said of the event:
“We’re really grateful to Ashley and all our supporters for taking part in this amazing challenge and we can’t wait to be there on the day to cheer them on along the route. The money raised will make a real difference for to the lives of seriously ill children from across the UK.”
To sponsor Ashley please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bernardthebear