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A Lichfield woman is determined to take on a marathon charity challenge, despite a planned event not taking place.

Charlotte Aspley had been planning to raise money for Mencap by completing the London Marathon.

But with only the elite race now going ahead due to the coronavirus crisis, the supermarket worker is covering the 26.2 mile distance on the streets of Lichfield instead.

Charlotte Aspley

The 30-year-old, wo has Mosaic Down’s syndrome and visual impairment, will start and finish her run at Lichfield RUFC’s Cooke Fields home on 4th October.

Charlotte said she was determined to support Mencap regardless of her marathon plans being forced to change.

“Not many people know what having a learning disability really means, but it means that I’m not all that different from you.

“Just like everyone else I have hopes and dreams. And one of those dreams is to run the London Marathon for Mencap.

“But I’ll now be taking on the marathon in my hometown, Lichfield, surrounded by my friends and family. 

“Stigma or a lack of understanding about what a learning disability is means it isn’t always easy for people with a learning disability.

“When I left school, I was supported by Mencap to get my first ever job. I’m one of the lucky ones because only 6% of people with a learning disability have a paid job.

“Now I’ve been working at Tesco for ten years and I love it.

“I’m proof that if you’ve got the right support, you can do anything.

“That’s why I want to give something back to Mencap for all of the support they’ve given me.”

Charlotte Aspley

Charlotte – who has continued in her key worker job during the pandemic – will be accompanied by support runners Neil Antcliffe and Laura Allen for her marathon effort.

Edel Harris, chief executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, said:

“We are delighted that Charlotte, along with over 300 other runners including 10 runners with a learning disability, will be taking on the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon to raise vital funds for Mencap’s life-changing programmes. 

“While Mencap runners won’t have the race day they planned and trained for this year, we can all still support Charlotte to have the day she deserves by cheering her on during her virtual run and donating to her fundraising page. “

Edel Harris, Mencap

People can support Charlotte’s fundraising efforts via her online page.

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