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Georgina’s story: running the London Marathon 2024

Georgina is running the London Marathon for Kids.

She tells us about her family’s lived experience with disability, and explains why she has committed to raising money for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

My mission

My name is Georgina and I am 29 years old. I am an Assistant Headteacher in a small primary school in Essex. I have a small dog called Poppy, who has joined me on a couple of my training runs. I have run the few odd 5ks for charities before, but would not have called myself a runner before this event!

Being a qualified Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), I have a real drive and passion to support children with SEND. I’ve made it my mission to build genuine relationships with those pupils to help them develop, and ensure the best outcomes for them.

Why I chose team Kids

It is no secret that schools and services for children with SEND are in significant need of funding currently, with strikes happening across the country. There are now 390,109 pupils with an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP), which has significantly increased by 62% since 2015.

Due to the increasing number of pupils with EHCPs and lack of funding, thousands of children are losing out on the support and resources they need. This is something that absolutely breaks my heart – it’s what made me want to run the marathon and raise money for disabled children.

I came across Kids and knew instantly this was the charity I wanted to apply for!

My family’s lived experience of disability

When my wonderful nephew was given a diagnosis of Autism at six years old, we did not know what this meant for him. He had a particularly tricky start to his school life because people didn’t understand his needs. He’s had to overcome many obstacles but has thankfully begun to find his feet in the world.

He is the brightest boy I know and can name every single American president in order, answers all my questions about politics and I am beyond proud of everything he has achieved despite the challenges he faces. He may struggle socially, but over the last few years he has found his place at a youth club, watching football (something we never thought he would be interested in) and representing Southend in the Youth Council. These are important to him and give him a sense of belonging.

Creating a sense of belonging

It’s so important for children with SEND to feel that sense of belonging. I see this in my friend’s little boy, Louie. At the age of three, he has 17 diagnoses and is currently on the pathway to an Autism diagnosis. His highest need is his deletion of chromosomes 9 & 2 – a rare disorder – and doctors do not know the true impact it has on him. Currently, Louie and his family rely on many SEND services, including SENDIAS, and I know this makes a huge difference to their lives.

That is why charities like Kids are so important. Where there is lack of funding to support children in an education setting – despite educators’ best efforts – charities like Kids provide a wide range of services nationally for disabled children, young people and their families. They enable children with SEND to develop a sense of belonging.

How I am training and fundraising

I have been training for a year now and even ran during my summer holiday in Spain last year! I have just done my longest run – 20 miles – which was mentally taxing, but I managed to get through it. It is the hardest thing I have done but I know it will be the most rewarding.

The support I have received from my partner, family, friends and many others has been incredible and I feel so lucky. I have fundraised money by holding a curry and raffle night, and organising events at my school. I have nearly reached £2,500 and hope this will continue to grow!

Georgina says

“The London Marathon is going to be a huge challenge for me, both physically and mentally. I do not know how I am going to get through it, but knowing the money is going towards life-changing services for children with SEND will make the journey worth it.”

Take on a challenge event

Take on a challenge for Kids and help create a world where all kinds of children and young people have all kinds of opportunities.

Marathons, skydives, bike rides, sponsored walks – anything goes!