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Solihull runners go bananas for Macmillan

Around 90 employees from npower’s office in Solihull put their best fundraising feet forward in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support when they took part in a fun run challenge.

Now in its 5th year, the Solihull 5 and 10km challenge has gone from strength to strength and this year has raised a fantastic £3,700 for Macmillan, which npower pledges to match pound for pound, taking the grand total to £7,400.

Amongst the enthusiastic fund raisers was fancy dress runner, Katharina Birkner who dressed up as a banana to help raise nearly £100 for the charity and peeled through the 5km course in 31 mins and 15 seconds.

The fundraising route began in Tudor Grange Park on Wed, May 18 after a warm-up led by the entertaining fitness enthusiast, Ged Kapleris who also works for npower Business based at the Solihull office. The grounds around the park were transformed for the race, with volunteer marshals and first aiders helping to ensure the runners safety as they made their way around the 5 and 10km course. Along the way, each 5km runner completed 6,600 steps and a staggering 13,200 steps completely by each 10km runner, helping to raise vital funds for the cancer charity.

Winner of the 5km run was Risk Manager, Seb Taylor, who completed the distance in 24 minutes 48 seconds with Risk Analyst, Sam Weston winning the 10km course in 42 minutes and 35 seconds. Administrator, Kirsty Ledger was the first woman to cross the 10km finishing line at 43 minutes 56 seconds.

Seb said: “Having seen my mum successfully fight breast cancer, I know how much she valued the support of those around her including Macmillan. Anything we can do to support such a great cause is well worth the effort.”

Kirsty said “I took part in the run because I love a challenge and I love running – I have done all my life. It was a tough race but  I’m so proud to be the first lady home and fourth overall to cross the finishing line. Most of us know someone who has been affected by cancer and running this race is a great way of giving something back to help support the great work that Macmillan do.”

Melanie Failes, Senior Partnership Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “On behalf of everyone at Macmillan I would like to say a huge thank you to all those that took part in the Solihull fun run - £7,400 is an incredible achievement and will make a massive difference to the lives of people living with cancer across the UK. The support shown by npower’s fantastic employees who have given their time, money and passion will go towards helping fund vital Macmillan services and helping ensure that no one faces cancer alone.'

Macmillan have been npower’s charity partner for over 12 years and during this time, has given over £7 million to help over 29,000 families by providing them with support such as emergency energy grants or writing off their debt.

Last month, npower announced its commitment for an extra £3m over the next three years to the npower Macmillan Fund to help people living with cancer keep warm without the worry. npower’s Macmillan Fund, formerly the Fuel Management Programme, is the only programme in the UK that offers bespoke support to people living with cancer by capping energy bills and writing off debt.

If you or someone you know has been affected by cancer and would like more details on the partnership’s npower Macmillan Fund, call the Macmillan Support Line free on 0808 808 0000 (Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm). Alternatively, if you would like more information on what npower does to support Macmillan, please visit