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Our Southampton Superstar runners

This weekend see’s two of the most important events on the charity calendar – the ABP Southampton (10k, half and full marathon) races, and the London Marathon.

We wish the best of luck to all of our runners, no matter the distance - it is an amazing challenge you are taking part in. Below are some of the personal stories from a selection of our runners.

We have charity representation at both events, so do look out for our flags and signs. We want to see lots of photos, so please send these to us at or tag us into Facebook and Twitter posts.

Most importantly – good luck!


The London Marathon

This year, Southampton Hospital Charity were successful in securing a Silver Bond charity place in the London marathon. This place was taken by Hugo Cordle who is taking on one of the biggest races of his life in support of the Southampton Children’s Hospital.

Hugo Cordle

Hugo has set himself the challenge of completing the London Marathon in just 3.5 hours to raise essential funds for Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity, specifically the Piam Brown Ward.

He comments: “The Piam Brown children’s cancer ward is of huge importance to our family. Freddie my younger brother was treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on the ward. I was 11 at the time, and all I remember was Mum coming to collect me from a hockey match that I had been playing in, her taking me in the car, telling me the news and then seeing Freddie in Hospital. 

It was a truly horrid thing to see my little five-year-old brother wired up to all these tubes and stuck in hospital. I shall never forget that day, it changed my life completely.

This month marks the tenth anniversary of Freddie’s diagnosis and I thought what better way to celebrate than to take some full on proper exercise, and raise some money for this fantastic charity.”

So far Hugo has already raised over £27,200, however to support him, go to:


We also have several runners who secured their own places in the London marathon ballot. We wish the best of luck to all of our runners.

Belinda HallagherRhian Cox says: “This is the biggest running challenge, if not THE biggest challenge of my life so far! It will definitely make turning the big '30' in 2017 all the more special. I am both excited AND terrified, but feel like I have been given an incredible opportunity to run harder than I ever have before - hopefully raising money for a great cause along the way!”

Belinda Gallagher comments: “This will be my second marathon, and this time I want to raise some money for Southampton Hospital Charity, in particular the Intensive Care Unit and the amazing team that cared so tirelessly for my mum. Every penny I raise and each mile I run will be dedicated to helping this charity continue its incredible work. So far I’ve raised £755, and I’m still going. 

Iola White wanted to set herself a challenge: “In all honestly I didn't think I would get in from the ballot. Well I did, and I thought if I 'm going to do something as crazy as running 26 miles on my 31st birthday then I might as well raise some money on the way!”

“I recently started my first job as a qualified staff nurse within Southampton’s Emergency Department and I am lucky enough to witness some of the best emergency care in the South being delivered by its dedicated, hardworking staff 24 hours a day (of course I'm biased as I work there). This is why I have decided to raise money for the adult Emergency Department, with all money raised going towards refurbishing the two relatives room. This will enable us to provide a more comfortable environment for the relatives of patient's being cared for in the resuscitation room.”


Some, 80 miles away, we have lots of runners taking on the various distances of the ABP Southampton races.

Neonatal baby in SouthamptonBrian Underwood is raising money for our neonatal unit: “I've been running now for three years and I stopped smoking two years ago so it’s fair for me to say life has changed quite a lot in the last few years but why? Where did it start? What happened?

In 2014 my daughter Amber was born far too many weeks early and with ‘Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome.’ I'm running the half marathon for the neonatal unit because that's where we spent the first five months of our lives with our daughter. We lived there among the doctors and staff who looked after Amber as well as us, and now I have the chance to say thank you by raising money for Southampton Hospital Charity.

Amber passed away the day after Mothers Day that year and left us heartbroken three years ago this week. We will never forget those precious months and the tireless work that goes on under that roof. Recently, friends of ours who we met at the hospital whose little boy spent six months in the neonatal unit, had to return to hospital, and it was a stark reminder of the fantastic work that goes on and also the worry that parents go through.

Hayley Taylor and some of the other Neonatal staff are taking on the Southampton 10k: “I am proud to say that I have worked on the unit for over eight years and absolutely love it. I am lucky to work alongside some truly inspirational people who do an amazing job every day to care for these babies. However, it is the courageous families we meet who are the true hero's.” 

“The Southampton Neonatal Unit provides specialist care to sick term and premature newborn babies. It is one of the largest neonatal units in the country treating around 750 babies a year. Money raised could go towards new equipment, more resources for families, improvements to parent facilities or additional staff training. All of which could help to improve our unit even further, ensuring babies and families receive the best care possible.” 

Richard Gray is taking on the Southampton half marathon for our PLANETS (Pancreatic, Liver, Neuroendocrine Tumours) fund to support our pioneering work in treatment, research and education. “The founder Neil Pearce treated my mother for pancreatic cancer. It was recently the five year anniversary of her coming through two major operations culminating in over five weeks spent in Southampton General Hospital.”

“She is one of the less than 1% who survive it. Due to it being an unusual cancer, research is underfunded in this area which is why I am fundraising for the charity by running the Southampton Half Marathon.”

Hannah PhillipsHannah Phillips is a qualified nurse on the Paediatric Medical Unit: “I will be taking on my next challenge by running my first Half Marathon how scary but exciting is that! All money raised will be going to the wonderful Paediatric Medical Unit in Southampton to support the children and the staff who look after them. I have now been working as a qualified nurse on the Paediatric Medical Unit for two years, and have been a part of many journeys and cared for many children, and I now want to support this ward even more.”

“The Paediatric Medical Unit looks after children with childhood common illnesses to children with life limiting and life-long conditions. We look after children with general paediatric illness, respiratory, gastro, mental health, neuro rehabilitation, endocrine and diabetes conditions and many more. We care for children who have spent time in Paediatric intensive and high dependency care, children who are supported on ventilators and children with tracheostomies and nasopharyngeal airways.” 

“Each and every one of these children are truly amazing and absolutely superstars who just keep on going. These children deserve every penny!  The money raised will aid in help transforming the ward décor, more vital equipment that can be very expensive, toys and games and trying to make the hospital experience better for the children we look after.”

Almed Salman is taking on the Southampton full marathon for his daughter. “On the 4 November 2016 my little baby daughter Yasmeen was born prematurely with a congenital heart condition. As you can imagine, being born premature is a challenge, but being born premature with a heart problem is a totally different story. Thankfully, the doctors, nurses and all the staff in the neonatal unit in Princess Anne Hospital were able to save her life. We still have a long journey to go, but baby Yasmeen is a survivor.

I decided to run the Southampton Marathon (yes the full marathon!) on the 23rd April. The money I will raise will go towards a good cause, whether to buy teas and coffees for the parents lounge, or buy other equipment (furniture, medical equipment) for babies in the unit. 

Some of the experiences I witnessed there are truly inspirational. I am hoping to raise money for the neonatal unit as a way to say a little thank you for how amazing they have been to Yasmeen, but more importantly, for them to continue doing what they do, they need our support.


Wishing the best of luck to all of our runners. We will be there cheering you on!

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