Pensioner runs marathon to help Ghanaian children

Melvyn Walmsley after running the Brighton Marathon
Melvyn Walmsley after running the Brighton Marathon

Melvyn Walmsley, 65, of Colwell Road, Haywards Heath, completed the Brighton Marathon 10k race last Sunday April 17.

Taking less than 56 minutes to run the 6.2 miles course, Melvyn wore a primary school uniform, specially made in Ghana, as his running kit.

Melvyn Walmsley after running the Brighton Marathon

Melvyn Walmsley after running the Brighton Marathon

Through his run he aims to raise £1,000 in sponsorship so child labourers can, instead, go to school in rural Bawku Municipal Province, Upper East Ghana.

Melvyn is Chair of a new community based organisation - Lovey Foundation (UK) - set up in Brighton last month.

Alexi Demetriadi, aged 19, from Balcombe is its Treasurer.

Melvyn told the Middy: “We set up our charitable organisation last month with members from Haywards Heath, Balcombe and Brighton.

“When our secretary, Dr Yaa Asare, lectured in Ghana in 2012 she met Thomas Lateef Aruk, an enterprising student teacher from Bawku Municipal District, where many children break stones for sale, chop firewood and mind livestock instead of going to school.

“Thomas launched the Lovey Foundation there to change that.

“Since 2013 it’s been successfully breaking down social, economic and cultural barriers that stop children from attending school.

“Through Yaa’s initiative we’ve set up the UK organisation to raise funds to buy and send materials for uniforms and a vital laptop (to reduce Lovey Foundation’s admin costs) to Ghana.

“It costs only £10 to equip a child to go to school there,” he added.

To sponsor Melvyn, please send a cheque, payable to Lovey Foundation (UK), to him at 4 Francislea, Colwell Road, Haywards Heath RH16 4EL.