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Celebrities urge runners to join the Age UK team

Published on 25 March 2014 02:00 PM

Capital reasons to pound the pavement for Age UK in the Virgin Money London Marathon

Celebrities get behind Age UK and urge runners to join the team

Age UK is urging runners who have secured a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon ballot to run for the charity on Sunday 13th April to raise awareness and funds for its vital work that supports vulnerable older people across the country.

Recent research has shown that feeling extreme loneliness can increase an older person's chances of premature death by 14 per cent(i). The findings also show that loneliness has double(ii) the impact of obesity.

Helping relieve loneliness is one issue that Age UK tackles by supporting older people to stay socially connected. All the money raised by the charity's dedicated marathon runners will go towards Age UK's range of services that help millions of older people and serious issues they may face like loneliness through information and advice, practical support and access to social activities.

Age UK's support improves lives in all sorts of ways from providing essential information and advice and practical services, such as befriending which might include home visits and telephone calls for people who are feeling lonely or isolated. This crucial support provides a link to the outside world and often acts as a gateway for other services and valuable help.

Many local Age UKs also offer other social activities such as lunch clubs and day centre activities including exercise classes, coffee mornings, as well as volunteering opportunities.

Former UK Olympic heptathlete and 400m sprinter Kelly Sotherton ran her first ever Virgin London Marathon last year for Age UK. She said: 'I loved the challenge. Although the training was hard work it was so rewarding to cross the finish line and collect my medal!

'I'm not taking part this year but I'm urging other people with places to get involved and help raise awareness for a great cause! Together we can do so much to help.'

Jessica Ransom, a British actress, best known for her role in the ITV comedy drama Doc Martin as medical receptionist Morwenna Newcross is running the Virgin Money London Marathon for Age UK this year.

She said: 'Age UK is a charity close to my heart. My Nanah is 93 and has vascular dementia. She has been well supported in hospital and now in a residential care home in Sheffield and we are lucky to be able to visit her regularly.

'She has a comfortable life where she is respected for who she is; too many older people don't have that support which is very upsetting. I'm raising money for Age UK so that older people like her can get the assistance, advice and support they deserve.'

Lydia Curran, Head of Events at Age UK, said: 'It's brilliant to have support this year from Kelly and Jessica. With their help we're able to show just how vital it is that we raise much needed funds for vulnerable older people around the country.

'We can only continue our work with the support of fundraisers so we're now urging runners who have secured a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon to get in touch and join the team to make a difference to the lives of older people.'

All runners who choose to join the Age UK team will receive advice and support throughout their training and a personalised running vest or t-shirt. They can also look forward to a post-race reception with refreshments and a massage to soothe aching muscles.

For further information on how to run for Age UK, please go to or contact the Age UK Fundraising Events Team on 0800 169 8787 or email To donate to the Charity call 0800 169 8787, Text Ageuk to 70004 to give £5 or go to

- Ends -


Notes to editors

i, ii Presentation by John Cacioppo, Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (February 2014).

Media contacts

For more information on Age UK or for interviews please contact Karen Richards on 0203 0331428 or email


Age UK

We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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