Marvin’s Marathon: Mayor of Bristol runs for Southmead Hospital


This year, we’re very excited to welcome Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, to our incredible team of fundraisers taking on the London Marathon in April.

With training and fundraising well underway, we asked Marvin a few questions about his decision to take part.

Why is it important for you to support your local NHS?

Like so many Bristolians, the NHS has always been there for me and my family. I was born at Southmead Hospital and two of my kids were born there or at Cossham. Southmead staff also cared for my brother there, before he passed away during the pandemic.

Healthcare that’s free at the point of use is a cornerstone of our society. It’s worth standing up for and supporting – as I’m sure the one million people treated across North Bristol NHS Trust each year, and the 12,000 dedicated staff, will agree.

How do you feel about taking part in the London Marathon in April?

I’m excited – I’ve always wanted to run a marathon and I’m honoured to be able to do it by supporting Southmead Hospital Charity.

I’d not yet taken the plunge to sign up for one before. Once I’d said yes this time it was obviously a great motivation to get training, as is the generous support from donors so far!

How are you finding your training so far, and did you do much running before you got your place in the London Marathon?

It’s been challenging, not least with the cold snaps we’ve had recently, but I’m enjoying it. I recently managed a sixteen mile run, and have been trying to add two miles every fortnight to my longest runs.

I’ve done a few 10k runs before, including as a guide runner for a blind runner on the Great Bristol Run in 2021. That was the first time that it was possible for blind and partially sighted runners to take part in that event, a great step forward for our city.

Meet the full team

All our marathon runners bring their own motivations for supporting Southmead Hospital. Say hello to the team:

  • Former Harlequin Olly joins us from longstanding supporters The Jolly Hog, becoming the fourth Jolly Hogger to take on the London Marathon
  • Rob is a former Bristol rugby player, whose first born was delivered at Southmead Hospital
  • Bonny is a midwife at the hospital, who is using the run to raise awareness about bereavement care for those experiencing early miscarriage
  • Ryan is running to thank the staff who cared for his mum last year during her three major brain surgeries
  • David is a NICU consultant who has worked at Southmead Hospital for 23 years. He’s seen first-hand the impact that donations have made to the hospital
  • Jamie is taking on the London Marathon, as well another marathon and a half in April, in memory of his friend Pat
  • Anita‘s grandson was born 9 weeks early and spent 45 days in Southmead Hospital, and she is running to say thank you for the specialist care he received.

We’re counting down the weeks until the London Marathon, and we can’t wait to cheer on Marvin our fantastic team. We’re so grateful to them all for their support, and for the huge amount of work everyone is doing to help support our local NHS.

Thank you for your support – it makes a huge difference to our patients, their families and our staff.

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