Derek (67) to tackle London Marathon

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A 67-year-old is to tackle the London Marathon this weekend, despite undergoing two hip replacements.

Derek Ward, of Mansfield business training company Focus Management based at Ransom Wood, is to take on the 26-mile race in aid of local charity Jigsaw.

He said: “I’m doing it as it’s a cause which is close to my heart. Jigsaw helps the elderly and lonely locally by providing a home visiting befriending service to housebound over 60s in Mansfield and Ashfield.

“I’ve been so lucky to have both my hips replaced at the wonderful King’s Mill Hospital and it’s given me a new lease of life. Without my new hips I would probably be housebound.”

“Loneliness and social isolation among the elderly is growing and with more and more people living alone with long term health conditions every year, Jigsaw’s Befriending Service is needed now more than ever.”

More than five million people in Britain say their main source of company is the TV and for many of Jigsaw’s service users, the visit from their Jigsaw befriender is the only meaningful conversation in their week.

Befriending co-ordinator Cate Bones says: “The service really is vital for lonely and housebound over 60s living alone in our community.

“Not only does the weekly visit mean so much, it means that a fully trained Jigsaw volunteer is keeping an eye on their situation and any concerns can be dealt with speedily, keeping older people safer in their homes for longer.’

Focus Management’s MD Malcolm Yates added: “As a local business we are delighted to be supporting Derek’s efforts for Jigsaw and wish him every success on Sunday.”

Derek has set himself a target of £2,000 to help towards the cost of Jigsaw Befriending Service. If you would like to help him reach his target you can by donating using this link: