School friends to run London Marathon for brain injury charity

Photo: SM260811-026ow.jpg'George Hales, left, and Zac Boffey are raising money for brain injury charity Headway.

Photo: SM260811-026ow.jpg'George Hales, left, and Zac Boffey are raising money for brain injury charity Headway.

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TWO friends will be running the London Marathon next year in aid of a charity close to their hearts.

School friends George Hales and Zac Boffey, both 18, will be taking part in the 26-mile marathon in April in aid of the brain injury charity Headway, which has supported George’s brother Simon.

Simon, now 22, spent five weeks in a coma following a 20ft fall in Newcastle in October 2009, where he was a student.

He then spent time at the Oakleaf residential brain injury rehabilitation unit in Hartwell, Northampton, before returning home to Burley Road in Langham.

Simon, a former Oakham School pupil, was filmed as part of a Channel 4 Cutting Edge documentary, My New Brain, which was screened last year.

George, who works at Burghley House in Stamford, said Headway has been a huge support to his brother.

He said: “Through Headway Simon has met a lot of people in similar situations who he has stayed in touch with and he has also been on trips with Headway.

“Headway does also offer family support but I’ve never had to use it. It does a lot of good work though and we had never heard of it until Simon had his accident.”

Simon, who works part-time as a gardener and is due to start an agricultural course at Brooksby Melton College in September, is now doing much better.

Zac, of Main Street, Duddington, met George at Oakham School and knows Simon through George.

Zac, who will be studying economics and geography at University College London in September, said: “He is not the same as he was before the accident but he has come on an incredibly long way and that is down, in part, to Headway.

“That’s why we both want to raise as much money as we can.”

Zac is a keen sportsman so thinks the 26 miles will be no problem but George is predicting it will be harder work for him. They need to raise a minimum of £3,000 in total.

Zac said: “A friend did the marathon last year and I thought why not give it a go? So I applied myself and then George decided to do it.

“I think if we train hard it shouldn’t be so bad.”

George’s mother Jane, an events manager at Barnsdale Lodge, will also be running the marathon but has a place through the ballot. She also walked along the Great Wall of China in April to raise money for Headway.

To sponsor the pair visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/making-headway.