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Dagenham children’s mentor holding variety night fundraiser for London marathon

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 April 2018

Michael Perkins getting ready to run the London Marathon for the Phabkids children's charity. Picture: Ken Mears

Michael Perkins getting ready to run the London Marathon for the Phabkids children's charity. Picture: Ken Mears

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A children’s mentor from Dagenham is embarking on his fourth London marathon for children’s charity Phabkids.

Michael Perkins getting ready to run the London Marathon for the Phabkids children's charity. Picture: Ken MearsMichael Perkins getting ready to run the London Marathon for the Phabkids children's charity. Picture: Ken Mears

Michael Perkins, 46, from Fordyke Road, is looking to raise between £1,600 and £2,000 by April 22.

But at just £60 so far, he’s still got a long way to go – 26 miles, to be exact.

“I’ve always been a runner, I’ve done three London marathons before,” he said.

“The last one I did was in 2009 for children’s charity Barnado’s, but I’ve been running ever since.”

Michael Perkins getting ready to run the London Marathon for the Phabkids children's charity. Picture: Ken MearsMichael Perkins getting ready to run the London Marathon for the Phabkids children's charity. Picture: Ken Mears

Michael’s training involves an eight mile run three or four times a week, followed by a longer one on the weekends. In the weeks before the race, he’ll work his way up to 20 miles, before resting in the days ahead.

“Last time I did it in about four hours and 28 minutes, but I’m hoping to do it in four this time,” he said.

“It’s weird actually, as you get older you’d think you get slower but you do find your stamina increases. That’s only in your forties though – I’m not sure that’s true in your seventies.”

Michael, who works as a mentor for children with special needs in Chigwell, is running for Phabkids. He discovered the charity from friends who’d previously chosen it as their sponsor.

Phabkids provides activities and holidays for children and adults with disabilities, offering support, residential projects and social opportunities for people with special needs.

Michael is being supported through his training by his wife and seven-year-old twins.

“They obviously weren’t born for the last one I did, so I think they’re quite excited about it,” he said.

“They’ve been very supportive and helped with the JustGiving page.”

In a final push for donations, Michael will be holding a variety night on April 20. A magician and stand-up comic are on the line-up, along with the singer from We Are The Ocean, whose previous bills include the slightly less high-profile Reading Festival.

The night is being held at St John’s Roman Catholic School in Chigwell from 7-11pm. Tickets cost £5 and are available on the door.

To donate to Michael’s page, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-perkins6.

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