Kenilworth woman raising money for people with learning disabilities through running in London Marathon 2020

Penny Rusbridge finishing the Chester Marathon
Penny Rusbridge finishing the Chester Marathon

A Kenilworth woman has secured a place in the London Marathon on her third time trying.

Penny Rusbridge, aged 41, has accepted a charity place in the London Marathon 2020. She is raising money for the Mencap UK charity, which is the official charity for the race, which will be on Sunday April 26, 2020.

Penny Rusbridge at the Chester Marathon last month

Penny Rusbridge at the Chester Marathon last month

Mencap is the UK's leading learning disability charity. There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK.

Penny said: “For the last two years I have entered the ballot for London and been unsuccessful so that's why I applied for a charity place with Mencap.

“I am delighted to be running the London Marathon 2020 for Mencap as I have a learning disability myself with speech and communication difficulties. I struggle to do lots of things.

“I couldn't speak when I was born I had to go to a special school and they taught me to speak. At primary school I struggled with my education and therefore have dyspraxia which affects the way that I communicate.”

Penny took up running three years ago in November 2016.

She added: “How I got started was I bought a pair of running shoes, did one short run round the block and then did my first official event which was a Santa Dash.”

Penny has taken part in a range of other running events ranging from 10Ks to half marathons and five road marathons including the Chester Marathon last month. Since taking up running Penny has also joined the Kenilworth Runners group.

She has already started her training going out running several times a week, and booked a place in the Ashby 20 in Leicestershire, a 20-mile race on Sunday March 15 in preparation for the London Marathon.

Penny works Propertymark in Warwick as a membership documents coordinator.

Penny has set up a Virgin Money Giving web page with fundraising target of £2,000 for the Mencap charity.

Anyone interested supporting Penny in the London Marathon please see the giving web page.

Penny said: “As someone with borderline disability I do not get any help. I would like to raise money for this charity because I understand the work that they do and the importance of it.

“Right now, people with a learning disability face inequalities in every area of life with almost one in three young people with a learning disability spending less than one hour outside their home on a typical Saturday.

“They face barriers finding a job, accessing activities in their local community and receiving good quality healthcare. We tackle these issues head on by providing support in a way that meets individual needs and encourages greater independence.

“By supporting Team Mencap you will be helping support people with a learning disability to live the life they choose, and do the things they love.

“Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor me and donations will be quickly processed and passed to Mencap.”