A man from Charlton is planning to run an massive 80km ‘Tour de London’, running one metre for every child abused last year, all in aid of the NSPCC.
Joshua Corneck, a 22-year-old from Charlton, says it took him many years to find the courage to talk about his past with people outside his home, and that he couldn’t have “faced the demons” without the love and support of his family.
Now, due to the “devastating rise in domestic abuse that has resulted from this lockdown period,” the Dartford student wants to raise money for those less fortunate and are going through a similar situation without any support.
In April, May and June, the NSPCC helpline heard from more than 22,000 adults with concerns for the wellbeing of a child.
So Joshua has announced plans to run 80km, representing the 80,000 children the NSPCC reported were abused in the 2018/19 year.
The NSPCC, who are the UK’s leading children’s charity, say the figure works out as roughly one child being raped, groomed or sexually assaulted in the UK every 7 minutes.
The ‘Tour de London’ will take place on September 13, but Joshua’s fundraiser has already raised around £2,500 for the charity.
He said: ““As a child, I was a victim of sexual abuse, and it took me many years to find the courage to talk about it with people outside of my home.
“It is impossible for me to overstate how fortunate I was to have had my family alongside me, as I can’t begin to imagine facing the demons that I did without their love and support.
“With the devastating rise in domestic abuse that has resulted from this lockdown period, I have decided that it is time that I do my bit to give back to those who have been less fortunate than I was; to raise some money to fund the selfless and untiring people who devote their lives to these innocent children who don’t have the support that I did.”
Whilst he does have previous marathon experience, Joshua faces a tough challenge to prepare for the 80km run, around 50 miles, and has only been running in a regular basis since the start of 2020.
The 22-year-old added: “I’ve really been enjoying training so far. I haven’t planned out the route yet but I’m planning to do all the big parks and sites.
“I should have a lot support from friends and family, some which want to run legs of it with me, which will make it a lot better for sure.
“I thought the one child abused every 7 minutes statistic was very powerful and I wanted to translate that into something to do with running. I just thought it was such a powerful image, 80,000 kids a year.”
Sarah Lambley, the NSPCC’s supporter community fundraiser manager for London, said they were so pleased Joshua had chosen to support this September.
“Since the start of January Childline has delivered more than 7,000 counselling sessions to children and young people who have got in touch about Coronavirus (COVID-19).
“His efforts will help us to still be here for children who need help.”
To support Joshua visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/events2019-joshcorneck