Farnborough man to take part in London Marathon to raise vital funds for assistance dog charity

A LOCAL man is set to take part in the Virgin Money London Marathon 2019 to raise vital funds for a life-transforming assistance dog charity.

Joe Struggles, 27, chose to bid on the charity’s spot in the prestigious marathon, which is taking place on Sunday 28 April 2019, after hearing stories of how the charity transforms lives of people living with physical disabilities across the UK.

“The work Canine Partners does and stories I’ve heard about the amazing partnerships are admirable and inspiring, seeing how they can actually change and transform a life,” says Joe, who lives between Farnborough, Hampshire, and with his girlfriend in Amsterdam.

“From emotional and physical support dogs through to just having a pooch as a pet, I’ve witnessed how their companionship can affect the lives of all of us.”

Canine Partners is a national charity that trains amazing assistance dogs to transform the lives of people with disabilities, boosting their confidence and independence.

The dogs are taught a range of everyday tasks including picking up and fetching items, opening doors and helping to undress a person. They can even help to load and unload a washing machine and they can fetch help in an emergency.

“I don’t really have a goal but a few people who sponsored me have mentioned me breaking the four hour mark so I know what is expected of me,” says Joe.

“I’d be happy to simply finish and focus on enjoying the day, but people have also asked about me running as a dog!”

Joe has always wanted to run a marathon and has been inspired by his Dad and brother, who have run the London Marathon a few times between them.

“I’ve been and watched various friends and family members take part but I’ve never been able to secure a spot,” says Joe.

“When I saw the email from Canine Partners saying that they were looking for applicants I thought I’d apply and I’m very grateful for the opportunity and couldn’t have gained a place for a better cause.”

Joe’s training involves gym sessions, running two or three times a week, swimming and climbing.

“I am looking to progress on my long run by one or two kilometres each week between now and April,” says Joe.

“Every run I go on at the moment is my longest ever, which is a nice feeling that gets me through the winter weather!”

To sponsor Joe please visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/joe-strugs

Please visit caninepartners.org.uk to find out more information about Canine Partners or to take on a challenge yourself.

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