Running a marathon is a tough enough challenge in itself.

Running a marathon through woodland in RichmondPark with no footwear - just your bare feet - is an incredibly daunting challenge. However, people will go to extraordinary lengths to support the causes that are close to their heart.

27 year old charity worker Tom Crossland will be taking on the 2014 Richmond Park Marathon on 18 May without any footwear and he is doing this crazy “feat” in aid of the KIDS' Lady Allen Playground. 

Tom, a senior playworker at the Lady Allen Playground in Wandsworth, south west London says “Working for KIDS means the world to me. It truly is a unique and special place, a little utopia offering a huge outdoor setting for children to explore without limitations”

The playground provides opportunities for adventurous play for kids with special needs and disabilities and their siblings.

Often these children face real difficulties in using “mainstream” facilities, not only because of physical access but also (and more often) because of the reactions of the other children and their parents.  They stare, they tease, they complain or they ignore and move away.

Tom is running the marathon barefoot in order to raise much needed funds to pay for the Saturday bus service that transports the children to the playground and back home again.

Without this service the children are left unable to attend and is therefore a huge loss to both them and their parents.

It costs over £6,000 a year to run the minibus service and Tom is urging people to give what they can to support him – “I feel a duty towards those families, to do the best I can in giving them a chance to get their children here. That is often hard to deal with but I hope through my efforts we can help raise some cash that will really make a difference”

To sponsor Tom and support KIDS Lady Allen Playground for disabled children please visit his JustGiving page at