A Clapham Junction woman is gearing up for Virgin London Marathon to help make a difference to the lives of people with disabilities.

Sophie Wood, 26, is taking on the challenge Sunday, April 22 to raise money for Leonard Cheshire, a charity supporting people with disabilities.

She is hoping to raise £3,000 in sponsorship money.

Sophie, a brand and events director working in Liverpool Street said: “I have never run a marathon before but I am keen to do it while raising money for a charity that is close to my heart. My parents have spent their careers working for the NHS with people with disabilities, which I find incredibly inspiring. I chose a different career path, in events and marketing, and so I am really keen to do my bit and make a difference to people's lives.

“My cousin Patrick has Lissencephaly disease, so my aunt and uncle have relied on various different charities for support, hospice and care. He is 14 years old now which is four years past the life expectancy for someone born with this disability - I truly believe this is down to the amazing care and hospice he has received from different charities in the UK!

“I am excited to give back by running for Leonard Cheshire, as I can see first-hand how important disability charities are.”

She began her training in November 2017 and her training includes going to the gym during the week and completing long runs at the weekend.

Talking about her training, she said: “Training is going well, but I do have a big challenge ahead of me still. I recently had a double jaw operation and so my recovery time has stopped me from being able to get out and run. Despite this, I am determined to run the marathon and get a decent time!”

Sophie has also been working hard to reach her fundraising goal. She is holding a raffle which has already raised £600 and the prizes include a helicopter trip, football tickets, and dinner for two.

She will also be holding a quiz night at Ten Bells pub in Marylebone with 70 people already having agreed to attend.

After the marathon Leonard Cheshire will hold a celebratory reception, with free massages available for all runners.

To sponsor Sophie visit her fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sophiecaitlinwood