Charlie McAllister has long hoped to complete the world-famous London Marathon course and decided that 2018 would be the year he finally committed…

He explains: “It’s always been on my bucket list. Everyone knows about the atmosphere, the significance and, of course, the immense challenge involved. I’m just excited to get out there and experience it first hand”

Charlie began working for Blind Veterans UK, which provides free lifelong support to ex-Service personnel living with sight loss, in September, just months after graduating from the University of Manchester.

He admits that his time working at the charity fueled his desire to run on behalf of a charitable cause, and that it didn’t take him long to decide exactly which cause he’d be supporting.

Charlie says: “I’ve just been blown away by the difference the charity is able make. Naively, I’d assumed that sight loss in the military community would be a marginal issue, but in reality there are tens of thousands of people living with a vision-impairment who are eligible for the charity’s support.

“These are men and women who’ve displayed bravery of the kind few of us could ever imagine, and so to think that they’re having to face such challenging circumstances alone is heartbreaking. I’m looking forward to raising as much money as possible to support the cause.”

Charlie works in the fundraising team, securing donations for the charity in the form of legacy donations. He explains: “60% of the charity’s voluntary income is from legacies, so it’s a vital part of the fundraising process. My job is to make as many people aware that they can leave a legacy to us in their will, how they can do it and, perhaps most importantly, what impact it can make.”

With an undertaking as vast as the London Marathon, Charlie is well aware of the work that’ll have to be put in in advance. He says: “The furthest I’ve ever run is 15 miles, and that was a good few years ago! I think as long I’m smart about it, stick to my training schedule and make sure I eat clean – most of the time – then I should be OK!”

To support Charlie as he prepares to take on the London Marathon for Blind Veterans UK, click here.

The Virgin London Marathon takes place on Sunday 22 April.