Hackney Half Marathon runner helped raise over £30,000 for one of the oldest hospices in the UK

Ian Bruce after finishing the Hackney Half Marathon. Pic: Deniza Primbet

A local teacher from Hackney contributed towards raising over £30,000 for St Joseph’s Hospice during yesterday’s Hackney Half Marathon despite hating running.

Ian Bruce, 31, is a teacher at Stoke Newington School who has lived his entire life in Hackney and has been a dedicated runner for St Joseph’s Hospice ever since the Hackney Half Marathon began in 2014.

St Joseph’s Hospice is one of the biggest and oldest hospices in Britain that was founded in Hackney in 1905 and has since been committed to helping the terminally ill. Each year, they provide end-of-life care to over 2,100 patients.

Only half of the hospice’s funding comes from the NHS, and the rest is raised through charitable donations.

Bruce, who finished the half marathon in two hours and one minute, personally raised £1,150 for the hospice.

He told Eastlondonlines: “For the help that they gave me and my family, I’ll always be indebted to them, I will continue to contribute towards making a difference in the borough.”

Bruce began supporting the hospice around the time his mother died from a terminal form of cancer five years ago. When his mother decided to spend her remaining time at home, St Joseph’s offered support to his family at a difficult time.

“Losing a family member to any kind of illness is not easy, but without St Joseph’s, it would have been a whole lot harder,” he said.

Since then, he’s helped them in return by raising funds through participation in the half marathon, despite having a strong hatred for running. He said: “I hate running and everyone knows that, but it’s such a great cause. You will see me run every year.”

St Joseph’s Hospice’s stall at the Hackney Half Marathon. Pic: Deniza Primbet

Anna Lee, the fundraising events manager for St Joseph’s Hospice, told Eastlondonlines: “We had 102 runners supporting us during the half marathon. Some of our regular runners, including Ian, have truly outdone themselves this year.”

We managed to raise over £30,000 this year. It’s a blessing,” she added.

At their stand, the staff from St Joseph’s Hospice organised morning yoga sessions and complimentary massages for their runners to ease their post-run recovery.

The Hackney Half Marathon is an annual event that takes place in the heart of East London to ‘celebrate the movement and culture’ of the borough.

This year’s route begins in the Hackney Marshes and progresses through Broadway Market, London Fields and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, before making its way back to the starting point.

The marathon was also accompanied by a weekend-long Festival of Fitness from Friday, May 17 to Sunday, May 19, which offered numerous sports activities such as rock climbing and stand-up paddleboarding, as well as local food stalls and shops.

Bruce had nothing but praise for the event, saying: “[The Hackney Half Marathon] is the best! I’m from Hackney, we run past our family and friends all along the route, it’s amazing. And it shows the diversity of Hackney in the very best way.”

This year, the Hackney Half Marathon had over 17,000 runners and sold out of its entries for the first time ever.

Every year, St. Joseph’s Hospice must raise over £15 million in order to carry on providing their services to the people in need. To donate, please visit their website here.

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