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Why Rich is running London for The Lighthouse Charity and other company news

If you follow Richard (the boss) on LinkedIn, you’ll have seen the odd post or two about him being a bit of a runner. And this year, he’s decided to run the London Marathon for The Lighthouse Club. 


In order to whip up some donations and encourage you all to dig deep for this fabulous charity, we are going to be sharing his training diary each month between now and race day (October). This month we are starting with a bit of background about how Rich got into running and why he’s supporting The Lighthouse Club.


But before we get into that, here’s a short company update from Rich about what 2022 has held for SLS.

The post-pandemic recovery so far


The last couple of years have been challenging for the construction industry and at SLS we have been no exception. With life back to normal, projects are now pressing ahead and I’m delighted to say that SLS has just had its best month in a couple of years. 


Of course, we don’t always get it right but we have been seeing excellent levels of reliability and decent feedback on skillsets right across the business. Alongside me, my right-hand lady, Brodie o’Mahony, has been working hard to develop relationships with both our workforce & clients in order to deliver the best service we possibly can.


From talking to clients and the media coverage about the cost of living crisis, I do wonder what the next year has in store for the industry. The high-cost inflation we are seeing right now means I can only conclude if this persists, that banks will tighten their lending criteria and cause a slowdown in the housing sector, which has been our busiest sector for the last few months. 


That said, whatever the future has in store we are well funded and strongly placed to continue to grow. We will deal with challenges as they arise, adapt where necessary and face the future with optimism. 

Why I am running London for The Lighthouse Club


This year I am celebrating my 50th birthday and what better way to mark it than by running the London Marathon in October to raise funds for the construction charity,  The Lighthouse Club


But why them?


Firstly, and most obviously, they are a good fit for us. Having worked in construction for more than 28 years. the London Marathon is an opportunity to give back to the industry. The Lighthouse Club is the only charity that provides emotional, physical and financial well-being support to construction workers and their families. They receive no public funding and rely wholly on the generosity of those within the industry to help them continue their vital work.


Since Covid struck, the charity has provided an immense amount of support to construction workers who were adversely affected by the pandemic. There’s no doubt that their support has saved lives. 


May is Mental Health Awareness Month – something that is close to my heart. Running is how I manage my own stresses and there’s nothing like a long, peaceful run to clear the mind and give you time to reflect. 


But more than that, I have seen the benefits of running to other people – particularly within Hedge End Running Club of which I am Chairman. Over the years the running club has created a strong community within Hedge End with runners of all abilities being welcomed and supported to achieve their personal goals. 


But I haven’t always been a runner!

What inspired me to run?


As I sat watching the London Marathon on TV in 2007, I was inspired by the masses race and decided to give running a go, entering the Great South Run to give myself a target. 


At the time I was overweight, unfit and my first run was nothing short of horrendous. I only went about 1.5 miles but it felt like a marathon. What on earth did I think I was doing?!


I kept going, gradually building the distance as my fitness improved, eventually completing my first ever Great South Run in 1 hour 40 minutes. (For comparison, I now do it in around 1 hour 17 minutes.) 


Having achieved my goal, I kept running for fitness, lost two stones in weight and felt the benefit of regular exercise. But I wasn’t yet bitten by the bug for long distances. That came in 2012 when I joined the newly formed Hedge End Running Club and started hanging out with more runners. 


Since then I’ve completed 39 races of marathon distance or longer including a handful of 50 milers and three 100 mile finishes

Why donate?


Now – the thing with running an event for charity is that I have to persuade you to put your hands in your pockets and dig deep!


If this was a fundraising event, this is the point at which I’d be playing a heartwrenching video to help motivate you to donate. 


But I can’t. 


Instead, I’m sharing a snippet from a real-life story of someone whose life was saved by The Lighthouse Club. 


“The swift action and support from the lighthouse club may have actually saved my life. What a great thing to be able to say.

I cannot thank the team at the charity enough for what they have done and for being there when I needed them. They have called many times since to check in on me on a personal level.

I want to let others know that there is always help out there, however big or small you think your problem is, there is always someone at the Lighthouse Club ready to listen.”


You can read more about Chris’ story and others here.

Now it’s your turn!


Summer marathon training is arduous so I’m counting on your support and generosity to help my motivation levels! 


We’re all feeling the financial squeeze right now so the saying “every little helps’ has never been more true. No amount is too small to make a difference – think of it as buying me a drink but for a good cause and without damaging my liver! 


Simply click here to donate and, because the Just Giving page is linked to my Strava you can also keep track of my progress.


The more people I can reach, the better – so when you see posts about my training runs on LinkedIn, be sure to comment and share. 


In advance – thank you for your support. 


Check back next month to find out how the training is going.

About Author : Liz Clarke