Fundraiser of the Month, March 2017: Luke Willis

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Former soldier Luke was inspired by his experiences of helping civilians in conflict zones to run the London Marathon in support of RedR UK.

This month we are dedicating our 'Fundraiser of the Month' title to Luke Willis. This year Luke has bravely signed up to running the London Marathon on behalf of RedR. He has been impressively battling the elements this winter, regularly running from Clapham and Croydon all the way to Central London. To practise, he’s also already run the Reading Half Marathon, and managed to squeeze in a casual 20.1 mile run in Kingston on Mothering Sunday!  We’re sure all this practice will ensure he reaches his four-hour target for Marathon day.

Luke’s hard work and dedication has been rewarded. He has managed to rack up over £1,400, as well as £500 in matched funding from his employer: RedR Patron firm, Mace Group. The £1,900 raised means he’s already beaten his sponsorship target, with a month still to go!

A unique and informed perspective

Luke’s past experience provides him with a unique and informed perspective on RedR’s work: "Prior to working for Mace I spent six years as an officer in the British Army and have witnessed first-hand the effect that war has on innocent civilians caught in the middle of a conflict. For a time during my military service in Afghanistan I commanded an immediate response team responsible for evacuating British military and civilian casualties from conflict zones via helicopter. On more than one occasion this involved the evacuation of children with severe injuries that they should never have had to endure. 

Since leaving the army I have worked for Mace for five years and have become aware of the excellent work RedR do every day around the word to help people affected by natural disasters and conflicts. One such appeal that particularly resonated with me was the Nepal earthquake relief appeal. I spent my honeymoon in Nepal visiting a number of affected areas such as Kathmandu, Pokara and the Annapurna range. I have met the people, experienced their generous hospitality, despite (in most instances) existing in what we would consider to be unacceptable conditions, and all with a huge smile on their faces. This was particularly evident in the remote mountain villages as we trekked from teahouse to teahouse, and it is these people that I felt for the most as I know how remote those areas are and how difficult it would be to provide relief."

We want to say a massive thank you to Luke for his efforts this month. We would also like to reiterate his son’s wise advice, not to trip up!

A unique and informed perspective

Inspired to take on your own challenge like Luke?

Then contact the fundraising team on 0207 840 6025 or email here. Or find out about more ways to support us.

If you would like to support Luke directly, then please visit his online page.