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Local runner to fundraise for Age UK Somerset

Age UK Somerset is delighted that one of its ageing well tutors, Jo Fordham, is running the London Marathon on Sunday 26th April, and is dedicating all donations to the local charity.

Jo started running in her teens and then gave it up for a bit, but restarted after she had her son 10 years ago. Since then she has done lots of races and this is her fourth marathon. Her fastest time to date is 3hrs 39 mins set last year in Paris. That result gave her a guaranteed ‘good for age’ entry at London this year.

For the last nine years she has worked at Frome Leisure Centre leading a range of specialist exercise classes that she has absolutely loved. She has also been working for Age UK Somerset running a ‘Mature Movers’ class at Frome Medical Centre.

Talking about her work at Age UK Somerset Jo said, “The people who come to my class have inspired me to run for Age UK Somerset. They have really made me aware of how important it is not to only do some gentle exercise, but also enjoy the social interaction.

“As we all become older it is all too easy to become lonely and not be able to get out and see people. I know the people in my class have formed some really close friendships and they now look out for one another. I think Age UK Somerset is one of those charities that we maybe don’t think about until we really need it, so I am happy to promote it through my running. I really hope when I get older somebody will be running a class like mine for me.”

April will certainly be an exciting month for Jo  as she will also be starting a new role as ‘peer support connector’, based at Frome Medical Practice, supporting individuals and groups with long term health conditions.

Jo is hoping to run a time of 3hrs 30 mins for this marathon. Her coach, Holly Rush, has run for team GB.

There is a dedicated Virgin ‘Just Giving’ web page for everyone who wishes to support Jo through a donation – Age UK Somerset will also be running various fundraising events over the next few weeks in support of Jo.

For future details, a paper sponsorship form or clarification contact Lou Evans on 01823 345623 or email:

Age UK Somerset promotes the well-being of all older people in Somerset and North Somerset to make later life an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.