Virgin Money London Marathon has named the disability charity Mencap as its official Charity of the Year for the 2020 race across the capital.
The charity is aiming to raise £1.5m and will receive 250 guaranteed places in the 2020 Marathon, plus 50 in 2021, 25 in 2022 and 10 in 2023.
Mencap’s campaign is Here I Am, which aims to start a movement of change toward greater inclusion for people with a learning disability.
Funds from runners at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will go to fund a new sport inclusion project called All Move that will bring together young people with and without disabilities.
All Move will be delivered over two years to 1,200 young people aged 11-16 across schools in England and Wales and a similar project is being delivered in Scotland by Enable.
Jan Tregelles, chief executive at Mencap said: “We are absolutely delighted to be Charity of the Year for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.
"We're going to use this amazing high-profile opportunity to make real change for people with learning disabilities by challenging stigma and changing attitudes.
"The marathon partnership is an great platform for visibility of people with a learning disability and to bring people with and without a learning disability together through running and sport."
Hugh Brasher, event director for the Virgin Money London Marathon said: “We are proud to be working with Mencap as our Charity of the Year for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon and to support Mencap’s campaign to kick-start a movement of change.
"We passionately believe in sport for all and greater inclusion for people with a learning disability.”
A spokesperson for London Marathon said: "Becoming the official Charity of the Year for the Virgin Money London Marathon is a hugely sought after opportunity.
"All charities are invited to apply to be the Charity of the Year for the Virgin Money London Marathon.
"Applications are sent to Virgin Money who specifically ask to hear from charities working on ambitious projects or initiatives that will make a lasting difference in the areas where help is needed most.
"Mencap has exciting plans for the next 12 months with a fundraising campaign based on runners taking part in the 2020 event and a campaign for change and greater inclusion for people with learning disabilities."
Dementia Revolution passes the baton to Mencap
Mencap takes over from Alzheimers Society and Alzheimers Research UK’s joint campaign, Dementia Revolution, which raised £3m at this year’s marathon last Sunday.
Thank you so much @DementiaRev! Congratulations on the fantastic job you have done over the last year. You should be incredibly proud of everything you and your amazing supporters have achieved. #HereIAm #TeamMencap @LondonMarathon https://t.co/GX2cbQ2mk8— Mencap (@mencap_charity) May 1, 2019
Charlotte Aspley is part of Mencap’s Here I am campaign and is running with Mencap in the 2020 London Marathon.
She said: “Just like you, I laugh, I cry, I love, I hurt. And just like you, I have dreams and ambitions – like running the London Marathon.
"I also have a learning disability. But there is so much more to me than that.”