23 Sep Local plumber takes on the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon for MENCAP
Aaron Plummer, from Walthamstow in London and who has a learning disability and cerebral palsy, is taking on the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon for the UK’s leading learning disability charity Mencap to raise awareness of learning disability.
Aaron, 21, who won the 2020 Spirit of the London Marathon award, will be one of over 450 Mencap runners – including 14 runners with a learning disability – taking on the iconic 26.2 miles route from east to west London, via the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and The Mall, as the charity celebrates its 75th anniversary.
Aaron is taking on his second Virgin Money London Marathon this year after completing his first marathon virtually in his hometown of Walthamstow during the pandemic. In doing so, he raised an astonishing £33,000 for Mencap – a charity that has supported him throughout his life – and secured the support of personal trainer, Joe Wicks, footballer Eric Dier and Olympian Marilyn Okoro.
Aaron is running to thank the charity for supporting him during a difficult year. He rejoined the charity’s supported employment programme after losing his job during the pandemic. Every penny raised by Aaron, and other Mencap runners, will go towards funding Mencap’s life-changing programmes, which aim to tackle stigma and help people with a learning disability lead happy and healthy lives.
Speaking about why he is running the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon, Aaron Plummer says: “I can’t wait to run the London marathon in London this year. The London Marathon experience last year was amazing – I was on TV and went through some amazing experiences with Mencap. It will be so cool to do it with all the crowds there and to actually be at a live event – I’ve missed that feeling!
“The pandemic has been really tough for people with a learning disability. We’ve been stuck at home, not able to talk to our friends, go to work or do the things we enjoy. Mencap has had our back.
“I’m proof that if you’ve got the right support, you can prove people wrong. That’s why I’m giving back to Mencap for all the support they’ve given me over the years and for being there for me and other people with a learning disability during the pandemic. Please support me and the rest of Team Mencap today because Mencap is an amazing charity and does such much for people with a learning disability, like me.”
There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK, and they face huge inequalities everyday of their lives. The coronavirus pandemic has hit people with a learning disability particularly hard – they have died of COVID-19 at much higher rates than the general population, had their social care support stopped when they needed it most and lost vital opportunities to stay fit and healthy.1
Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, says: “We are delighted that Aaron, along with over 450 other runners, will be taking on the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon to raise vital funds for Mencap’s life-changing programmes. This has been a hugely difficult year for people with a learning disability but with your support we will be able to continue to provide vital services to help people to rebuild their lives after Covid.
“All of our runners will be helping to raise awareness about learning disability and in turn raise vital funds for our programmes, which are needed now more than ever. Join me in supporting Aaron by cheering him on, on the day, and by donating to his fundraising page. Through your generosity and encouragement, we can continue to support people with a learning disability to lead happy and healthy lives.”
Founded in 1946, Mencap provides the highest quality frontline support to thousands of people with a learning disability, while ensuring that people with a learning disability and their families and carers can get help through the charity’s helpline, online support services and lobbying and influencing work.
During the pandemic, the charity successfully campaigned for people with a learning disability to be prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccine. The charity continues to campaign for the rights of people with a learning disability as we come out of the pandemic as well as support people in their local community to bring about the changes they want to see to help make a different to their lives.
To support Aaron’s fundraising ambitions: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AaronPlummer