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Devon teacher takes on London marathon to raise money for special care babies


Richards daughters wishing him luck

Tiverton father Richard Uffendell is preparing to take on the London marathon next weekend to raise money for Bliss, the special care baby charity that supported his family when all three of his daughters were born prematurely.

Bliss provides vital support and advice for families of premature and sick babies, just like Richard’s, as well as supporting research and changes in clinical practice.

Richard, who is Head of the Performing Arts faculty at South Molton Community College, is taking on the challenge for the second time, in order to raise as much money as he can to help families that may not have been as fortunate as his.

He said: “Raising money for Bliss was an easy decision to make. All three of my daughters were born prematurely, and the help we received as a family was exceptional. Isla, my eldest was ten weeks premature and developed meningitis whilst in Royal Devon and Exeter hospital. The care Isla received allowed her to make a full recovery, and also support us as parents to cope with the situation.

“While my family were very lucky, my friend’s family was not, and he lost his nephew after just 70 days of being born! 70 days! For me, that is not acceptable. I want to raise as much money as possible to support families who are not as lucky as mine.”

When asked about his training, he said: “Managing family life around training has been hard. I have been getting up at 4.30am to train, as well as running after work, sometimes at 9.30pm at night - a head torch and a hi-vis vest are two of my most important parts of gear!”

If you would like to support Richard, you can donate to his Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/richarduffendell2015/, or to find out more about Bliss, visit bliss.org.uk.

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