Bourne Baptist pals in 24-hour run to fight poverty and illness

Running pals (from left) Mark Wade, Niall Quinlan and Brian Eagle-Brown in training for Equinox. ANL-160309-143558001

Running pals (from left) Mark Wade, Niall Quinlan and Brian Eagle-Brown in training for Equinox. ANL-160309-143558001

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Pals who met through Bourne Baptist Church are taking on a 24-hour running challenge to help people struggling with poverty and illness in India.

Mark Wade, Niall Quinlan, Brian Eagle-Brown and Paul Timmins, a former police inspector in Spalding, will raise money for Brighter Futures International Trust.

The charity, based in Vizianagaram, offers a lifeline to poverty-stricken adults and children whose lives been devastated by leprosy, HIV, disability and prejudice. Its founding principle is ‘a hand up rather than a hand out’.

Paul’s wife, Louise, runs the UK arm of the charity and Mark’s wife, Lynne, became involved a couple of years ago.

Mark said: “It started with sponsoring a child and led to my wife visiting India last November. She had an amazing, life changing experience and has become more involved in promoting the charity.

“On hearing her stories I wanted to do an event to raise some money to help improve the lives of people suffering with poverty, HIV and leprosy.”

Cash will go towards children’s schooling and the funding of two teachers because schools in Vizianagaram do not accept children with HIV.

Mark said: “This education is the key to breaking out of poverty and becoming independent.”

Money also buys sewing machines to make clothes, so people can earn cash to live on, and drugs to control leprosy, which is widespread in areas with acute poverty.

“Families with leprosy are outcast from society through a lack of understanding,” said Mark.

The four men and a fifth friend, Ellie Parker, are taking on the Equinox 24 in the grounds of Belvoir Castle, a 24-hour running challenge over a 10K course that starts at midday on Saturday, September 17.

“We are hoping to do 20 to 24 laps, that sort of area,” said Mark.

• To donate to Team Brighter Futures please visit www.justgiving.com/Mark-Wade6