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Staff Complete Charity Run Raising Money in Memory of Former Student

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Staff at the University of Worcester completed the Birmingham Half Marathon honouring one of its students tragically killed in the Tunisian terror attack.

Four staff covered the 13.1 mile course on Sunday, October 15, raising funds for Smile for Joel.

Chosen by staff as the University’s Charity of the Year for this year, the charity was set up by Joel Richards’ family to support families who are victims of murder and terrorism.

Joel was a Physical Education and Sports Coaching Science student at the University of Worcester.

At just 19, he was killed in the 2015 terror attack, in which 38 people died, including Joel’s uncle, Adrian Evans, and grandfather, Patrick Evans.

Charlie Bassett, from the Finance team, Mark Kilburn and Steve Harborne, from Facilities, and Neil Laurenson, who works in the University’s Careers Service, all took to the streets to raise funds.

Neil finished in an impressive 1 hour 17 minutes, coming in 19th place, followed by Charlie at 1 hour 58 minutes, then Mark, at 2 hours 15 minutes and Steve at 2 hours 19 minutes.

They still hope to reach their fundraising target of £500.

“It was a privilege to run the Birmingham Half Marathon with University colleagues to raise money for Smile for Joel,” said Neil.

“The run itself was tough but enjoyable and the level of support was beyond anything I had ever experienced. Whilst it was nice to achieve personal bests, we were most proud of running for Joel Richards and his family.”

Mark added: “I think that the good cause definitely helped me press on during those times in the race when I began to tire. Distance runners usually experience negative emotions along the lines of ‘I can't go on’ and ‘Why on earth are you doing this?’ but such thoughts were easily banished.”

To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/universityofworcesterstaff.