A nurse has pledged to complete a half marathon this weekend, in support of health workers and aid experts working to tackle the coronavirus pandemic in developing countries around the world. Marie Pennell, a haematology clinical nurse specialist from Princes Risborough, aims to complete a half marathon to fundraise for the coronavirus appeal of international development charity, CAFOD.
Marie will begin her charity challenge this Saturday. Alan, Marie's husband, will act as marshal and timekeeper.
Marie said: "I have been prompted to do this as I am fortunate to work for the NHS and have seen the NHS working at its best during this difficult time. Here in the UK, we have received amazing support from the public and I am prompted to do my bit."
Marie is a member of the CAFOD group in her parish, St Teresa in Princes Risborough. She regularly helps to organise fundraisers for the charity and every summer takes part in sponsored walks.
Due to lockdown, Marie was unable to complete the walk this year, so she decided to organise her own sponsored fundraising challenge instead. She said: "The areas where CAFOD work are not so fortunate, and their weak healthcare systems are overwhelmed. CAFOD is currently helping with water, hygiene and sanitation programmes and supporting families where their livelihoods are threatened, like in places of extreme poverty and refugee camps."
The charity has recently launched an emergency coronavirus appeal and is scaling up its support for local aid experts around the world. These local experts are providing food to vulnerable families, as well as improving handwashing and sanitation facilities across communities.
CAFOD is also helping churches in developing countries use their networks to share hygiene messages through Catholic radio stations, and to produce posters in local dialects on infection prevention.
Donate to Marie's challenge at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/marie-pennell and find out more about CAFOD's work at cafod.org.uk/coronavirus
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