Professionals in the travel industry will be running the London Marathon to raise funds for ABTA LifeLine, supporting peers in need
Set to take place on October 3, the Virtual Virgin Money London Marathon will see numerous people from the travel industry running to raise funds for colleagues in need through industry charity ABTA LifeLine.
Launched in 2020, the Virtual London Marathon is being held for the second year, seeing participants complete their own 26.6-mile route in 24 hours.
ABTA LifeLine is ABTA’s charity. It was established to help travel professionals who may be struggling financially or mentally.
Trudie Clements, ABTA LifeLine’s director said: “Every week, I get requests that range from people who have lost their jobs and can’t put food on the table, pay their bills or even need clothes to attend job interviews; to more complex personal circumstances which may range from bereavement to mental health support.
“After an incredibly disruptive 18 months for the travel industry, this marathon is a brilliant example of how community groups and volunteers can help travel peers in desperate need. This fundraiser plays a crucial role in enabling LifeLine to continue to offer support that can be life-changing to many. I would like to thank each and every runner and the people who so kindly donate to their pages.”
Among those running is Team Avis Budget Group, who have said they see the challenge as a team-building opportunity. The team are training together and will be walking the marathon together throughout the day.
Sophie Nelson, the group’s travel and partnerships manager, put the group together after volunteering for LifeLine for nine months, saying: “I have seen first-hand how instrumental ABTA LifeLine is in supporting our travel colleagues in need. LifeLine is the heart of our industry: donations help pay for essential bills to keep families in their homes and help fund vital mental health support.”
Also partaking will be Sara Grieve, financial administrator for ABTA Travelife. She said: “When I began training for this marathon, I was a beginner: I was completely out of breath after 90 seconds running! But I want to be able to provide LifeLine with more funds to help people in need; I realise the end of furlough will mean even more job losses.”
The marathon will be a first for Giles Hawke, CEO of Cosmos Tours and Avalon, who has be been training in the lead-up. He said: “The travel industry has been good to me for almost 30 years and others have lost their livelihoods and jobs through no fault of their own. This marathon feels like the right thing to do to help them as best as I can.”
Team Avis Budget Group, Sara Grieve and Giles Hawke’s have all set up individual fundraising pages for the event.