Four Richmond-based charities - Citizens Advice Richmond, Richmond Borough Mind, Richmond AID and Ruils - are combining forces for the first time, walking a marathon to raise funds to support services for local residents in crisis due to the pandemic.

Led by each charity’s CEO, 30 participants – all walking in socially distanced groups no greater than six – will don walking boots and take on the 26.2-mile challenge on Saturday (October 17).

Starting at 8.30am in front of the London Eye, the hike will follow the Thames past landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, Battersea Power Station and Kew Gardens.

The marathon’s final miles will take walkers through the Borough of Richmond itself, before finishing early evening at the historic Hampton Court Palace.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

All funds raised will go directly into the charities’ services in the Borough of Richmond that help residents facing financial difficulty, mental health crisis, food poverty and disability.

“Collaborating with three other fantastic local charities in this challenge is a great way to raise awareness and inform people in Richmond that we are still here to listen, support and help where it is needed throughout this pandemic,” said Cathy Maker, CEO of Ruils.

“At Ruils, we urgently need funding to ensure disabled people and families of children with special educational needs to receive the support they need. Our workshops, one to one advice and practical support from our food delivery service, have been running throughout this difficult time and will continue as long as people need us.”

“During the pandemic, many large fundraising events have been cancelled, yet Citizens Advice Richmond has seen a big increase in advice problems as people face loss of income, redundancy, mounting debt and even homelessness due to the crisis,” added Simon Lawson, CEO Citizens Advice Richmond.

“Bringing four charities together unites us in a common goal – supporting Richmond residents through the unprecedented challenges they are facing.”

Since the pandemic began, Citizens Advice Richmond, Richmond Borough Mind, Richmond AID and Ruils have all seen a huge uptick in demand for services.

Each charity has its own fundraising target and will use money raised by their respective teams on projects that enhance Richmond residents’ wellbeing.

Richmond Borough Mind hopes to put the funds toward expanding their community outreach programme, while Richmond AID will continue their advice and information services for disabled people.