Army doctor’s marathon fundraising feat

SJA Trustee Dr Danny Sharpe

An army doctor will be taking this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon in his stride to support the life saving work of St John Ambulance.

Leading by example

Dr Danny Sharpe, 30, who lives in Southwark, is an SJA trustee and decided to attempt his first marathon to demonstrate his commitment to the nation’s leading first aid charity.

Danny confesses: ‘I hate running and I’ve never even done a half marathon before! But as a St John Ambulance trustee I felt it was important to lead by example.

We want people to fundraise for us so I thought I’d better get out there and show everyone how much I believe in the vital work we do – even if I end up dragging myself across that finish line!’

As an A&E specialist based in London, Danny is well aware of the vital importance of first aid. He wants to see people of all ages equipping themselves with the basic skills needed to save a life in a medical emergency.

He learned first aid as a young St John Ambulance Cadet and has gone on to use his advanced medical skills in the most extreme circumstances, including deployments in Afghanistan and Kenya.

He has already raised more than £2,000 which will support the charity’s mission to equip more people with life saving skills. Donations can be made at Danny's Virgin Money Giving page

First aiders help runners finish the race

Danny will be among nearly 200 runners fundraising for SJA in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon on 13 April. The race route will be lined with SJA first aiders, ready to treat runners and spectators for a wide range of injuries and medical conditions.

More than 1,000 SJA volunteers from all over the country will be on duty with approximately one volunteer for every 35 metres of the 26.2 mile course

They will include first aiders, doctors, nurses and paramedics who will man 45 ambulances and 52 first aid posts.

The huge first aid operation will enable many runners - who might otherwise be forced to withdraw from the race due to minor injury or illness - to cross the finishing line.

St John Ambulance has been providing first aid for the London Marathon throughout the 33-year history of the race. Last year they treated people with problems ranging from blisters to more serious medical conditions commonly associated with endurance events, including dehydration, stress fractures and exercise-induced collapses.

SJA’s Community and Events manager Beverley Russell said: ‘We’re so grateful to Danny for taking on this huge challenge on our behalf – he will be quite literally running for other people’s lives.

‘The first aid training we provide in local communities across the country gives people the skills needed to be the difference between life and death.’

Fancy following in Danny's footsteps?

Inspired by Danny’s story and fancy taking on the challenge for a great cause next year? Then join Team SJA in the Virgin Money London Marathon 2015. Runners have access to a dedicated marathon co-ordinator and receive an SJA running vest, advice on nutrition, fundraising and training in the lead-up to the event and a stand at the Virgin Money London Marathon exhibition.

On race day they’re supported by an official SJA cheering point and are rewarded with a post-race reception which includes a massage.

Contact events@sja.org.uk or call 0207 324 4173 for more information.