Along with fellow Marafun team members Bulat and Harry, I had the pleasure of spending Monday afternoon in the company of Pat Ryan, CEO of IT4CH, the charity we’ll be supporting when we hit the streets on 17 April.

IT4CH is a fantastic charity and its aim is to provide all children and young people who are sick, disabled or underprivileged with access to ICT, empowering them to maintain contact with their mainstream schools, families and friends. This helps them to continue their education, develop key life skills and make their hospital stay more fun.

Pat’s insight into the challenges she faces in supplying computer equipment to hospitals throughout the country, as well as her enthusiasm for the difference they can make to the kids’ lives, was inspirational.

First up, we visited the classroom on the children’s ward at the Whittington Hospital in Archway where we met the Head of Centre, Rosemarie Hilditch and her fantastic teaching staff.

We also got to meet Kiron who was learning about Greek mythology and Amira who was using one of the laptops provided by the charity in her hospital bed.  Kiron told us about his older brother who had also been very ill and has now fully recovered and is studying Computer Science at University.


Laptops are especially vital as centres like Rosemarie’s also provide home tuition services for children who are too ill or injured to make it to school, but who don’t need to be in hospital. The logistical challenges associated with running this type of service with limited resources are vast.

Rosemarie then took us to “The Lodge” a portakabin run by the hospital tuition centre in the grounds of a nearby school.  The Lodge is used by children who are well enough to leave their homes, but not yet ready to return to mainstream classrooms.  Seeing the teaching staff make the most of such humble surroundings, without running water or a toilet, was amazing.  There we met Jack and Lance who use the computers provided by the charity on a daily basis.  Jack is a keen runner, largely as part of his boxing training, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him running the London Marathon in a few years.

Next up, we travelled over to Canary Wharf to meet the charity’s Chairman Bhaskar Dasgupta at HSBC Tower. Bhaskar took us up to the 40th floor of the tower to enjoy the staggering views to the east. We’ll be back in the area in a few weeks time in somewhat less serene circumstances as the marathon route passes through Canary Wharf.

If you would like to sponsor us in aid of this great cause, you can do so here:

We really appreciate your support.

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