London Marathon Stars

YMCA are extremely grateful for the dedication and commitment of the seven runners taking on the London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April 2023 and fundraising for us in the process.

L-R Aaron Newton, Daniel Graham, Mary Lester, Lorna Walton. Image: Rob Currell/Newark Advertiser

Here’s why three of them are taking on the challenge.

Danny Graham

Having worked for the YMCA for nine years, I’ve seen and been a part of the amazing work they do for the communities, from the amazing, unforgettable gym members in Nottingham to the young people and families that use the Community & Activity Village in Newark.

Despite coaching several people to run marathons, I’ve never actually ran a 26.2 myself! Well, now I’ve got my place! And I’m proud to be raising money for an organisation that does so much, for so many. The money raised will go towards supporting young people and families and people unable to put a roof over their head.

Please help to support the cause (and me!) by donating whatever you can and each donation will help me get over the finish line.

You can sponsor Danny here:


Lorna Walton

I am running the London Marathon 2023 for YMCA England and Wales because all young people deserve a great quality of life.

YMCA exists to provide the essential building blocks for a full and rewarding life: a safe home; acceptance; guidance; friendship; physical and mental health; academic support; employment skills; and access to real opportunities. Many young people have never known these things; other people have lost one or more as they grew up, but we all need them. All of us.

YMCA provides these critical foundations for a fresh, strong start for young people and a better quality of life in the community. YMCAs vision in England and Wales is to transform communities so that all young people can belong, contribute and thrive.

You can sponsor Lorna here:


Mary Lester

It’s more than just a song.

The YMCA provide help to young people by giving them access to mental health support, training opportunities and a safe space.

Did you know that the YMCA is the largest voluntary provider of supported housing in England and Wales ?

  • Every £15 donated could provide a young person with a safe place to sleep.
  • Every £25 donated could provide a young person with a counselling session.
  • Every £50 donated could provide five skills training sessions for a young carer.
  • Every £100 donated could provide 24-hours of staff cover to ensure young people have someone to turn to, day and night.

On a personal note, when my mum died suddenly I was lost, my mum was a Christian and although I shared her morals returning to the Church didn’t feel comfortable.  But joining the YMCA running club made me feel closer to her due to the values of the gym/running club.  It got me through a difficult time and I want to raise money for the charity as a thank you.

You can sponsor Mary here:


Image: Rob Currell/Newark Advertiser