Macmillan Cancer Support will be the London Marathon’s charity of the year for 2021, the charity has announced today.
Macmillan's campaign for the marathon is called “Everyone From Day One”, and asks runners to help the charity support all cancer patients from the day of their diagnosis.
The ballot for runners to enter next year’s event, which is scheduled for 3 October 2021, is open until Friday.
The London Marathon normally takes place in April, but has been postponed to October both for 2020 and 2021 because of coronavirus.
This year's event was held virtually for all but elite runners last Sunday, and raised more than £16m for charities on Virgin Money Giving alone.
‘Thrilled to kick-start this outstanding partnership’
Macmillan will be using the money to expand its support line for people living with cancer.
Lynda Thomas, chief executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Right now, Macmillan can only be there for one in four people when they’re diagnosed with cancer, but we want to be there for everyone.
“The coronavirus pandemic has impacted our ability to fundraise at a time when people are waiting longer to get a cancer diagnosis and start treatment and desperately need support to help them navigate through this anxious period.
“Our services are needed now more than ever and we are thrilled to kick-start this outstanding partnership with Virgin Money London Marathon, which will help us reach more people with cancer.
“Whether you’re planning to run the 26.2 miles, cheer on our runners from the side-lines or make a donation, you will be helping us to be there for everyone living with cancer, from day one.”
Mencap breaks Virgin Money’s fundraising record
The charity of the year for the 2020 London Marathon was Mencap, which has seen more than 300 runners raising over £750,000 so far. Mencap had originally aimed to raise £1.5m from the physical event.
In 2019, the marathon’s charity campaign of the year was Dementia Revolution, which brought together the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK to raise more than £3m.
Macmillan has also been named charity of the year for 2021 by Virgin Money, a partnership that sees Virgin Money employees fundraise for a chosen charity.
Mencap was Virgin Money’s charity for 2020, and said the partnership has raised more than £440,000 from an initial target of £300,000. This is the highest amount ever and includes funds raised by 64 Virgin Money employees running the London Marathon for Mencap, as well as from various other activities, including challenge events, bake sales, raffles and auctions.
Mary O’Hagan, director of fundraising at Mencap, said: “Mencap is delighted to have partnered with Virgin Money as their 2019-20 charity of the year. Throughout our transformational partnership, Virgin Money has shared our vision that every single person with a learning disability deserves to be valued equally, listened to and included in society.
“We are thrilled to be Virgin Money’s most successful charity fundraising partnership raising over £440,000 – a phenomenal amount, which will enable us to run life-changing programmes to tackle stigma and help people with a learning disability lead happy and healthy lives.”
The total amount raised by Mencap through both the partnership and the marathon has passed £1m.
Organisers have confirmed that 2021 will be the final year with Virgin Money as headline sponsor of the London Marathon, as originally announced last year. The 2022 sponsor has not been revealed yet.