Macmillan named official charity for the 2021 London Marathon

Macmillan Cancer Support will be the official charity of the 2021 London Marathon.

Organiser Virgin Money has made the move after citing a need to improve access to support for cancer patients amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The charity’s chief executive Lynda Thomas says being named charity of the year for the event is especially vital as the “pandemic has impacted our ability to fundraise”.

“Our services are needed now more than ever and we are thrilled to kickstart this outstanding partnership with Virgin Money London Marathon which will help us reach more people with cancer,” said Thomas.

“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.”

Virtual event

This year’s event was pivoted as a virtual event due to the health crisis. Social distancing guidelines meant the event was for elite athletes only, with fundraiser urged to raise money in their local areas.

Earlier this week it emerged that donations for this year's London Marathon were more than a third down on 2019’s in person mass participation event.

The charity of the year for 2020 was Mencap. More than £700,000 has so far been raised for the charity via Virgin Money Giving through the event.

Event director Hugh Brasher added: “We are proud to announce Macmillan as the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year.

“Cancer has touched or will touch all of us at some point - directly or indirectly – and we will do all we can to support Macmillan’s Everyone from Day One campaign. Macmillan does vital work to support people affected by cancer and we hope being Charity of the Year will provide a vital boost to fundraising in this very difficult time.”

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