Matt Deane has conquered countless marathons over the last twelve years, raising money for different charities with each run. He chooses a new cause to run for each year and raises around £1,000 each time.
Matt’s biggest achievements this year include two marathons (London, and Brighton) in April. “I'm no runner but the fundraising gave me the motivation and I enjoy completing the races. The last mile is the best”.
Matt started running after he suffered a knee injury in a rugby game. He says: “after recovery, running gave me something to focus on and stop me piling on the pounds! I remember seeing a piece on the local news about premature babies and the support they need, so I signed up to run for Tiny Lives and it was amazing”.
Since then, Matt has run for causes close to his heart including the RNLI, Stroke Association and Waggy Tails (a local animal charity). He plans to run the upcoming Bristol half marathon and Bournemouth half, inspiring his colleagues and people in his local area.
As well as his marathon runs, Matt volunteers with the local Guide Dog group. He started fundraising for the charity when he moved to Christchurch in 2014. “I saw the puppies being walked in my local area and always considered what an amazing job the dogs do. I was inspired to help and as a result I have been able to meet many guide dog owners and their dogs”.
The budding volunteer very quickly became group coordinator for the Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch area, taking on the group which he says: “was dedicated but had lost its way and needed energising”.
Matt enjoys getting involved with the organisation of events and raising awareness for the guide dogs. He also takes time to understand the individuals working with him.
Lois Shearing, a fellow volunteer at Guide Dogs says: “Matt is incredibly warm and friendly and easy to talk to. I started volunteering at the beginning of this year. I was struggling with university and wanted to do something positive. Matt often checks up on me and asks how my studies are going and makes sure my responsibilities with the guide dogs do not interfere. He is very well liked by everyone in our group and works really hard”.
Matt and his group are also working to increase community interaction to promote guide dogs and increase awareness. You can read information about Guide Dogs and the work they do here.