A RUNNER representing the town's twinned alliance with Düsseldorf will be taking part in the upcoming Half Marathon to raise money for newborn babies at Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Wolfgang Hofmann will be battling the 13-mile route on Sunday, March 19, to raise vital funds for Babies in Buscot Support (BIBS) as a representative of the Reading-Düsseldorf Association.

BIBS is run almost entirely by parents that have had a baby and spend time on Buscot Ward, but it is a small charity and is heavily reliant on donations to keep it running.

Wolfgang, who completed the race in just over two hours last year, said: “I want to honour the great humanitarian gesture of the Mayor Phoebe Cusden, who installed the twinning between Reading and Düsseldorf in 1947, in order to help children suffering from the poor conditions in Düsseldorf just after World War II.

"In 2017 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the twinning together with our friends of the Reading-Düsseldorf Association. To pay back the generosity of Phoebe, I would like to raise some funds for the children of Reading.

"BIBS help to give sick and premature newborns at the Buscot Ward of the Royal Berkshire Hospital the best possible start in life."

Wolfgang has set a fundraising target of £500 for this year's race, but BIBS requires donations of £20,000 throughout the year to be able to meet demand for treating newborns.

Robert Dimmick, chairman of the Reading-Düsseldorf Association, added: “It will be great to see Wolfgang in Reading again, and we’re delighted that he will be supporting a valuable charity.

“It’s this kind of personal connection that we aim to set up, so that people in Reading and Düsseldorf can get to know each other and continue the links that were started seventy years ago.”

This year's marathon will take in Green Park, Reading University and the hospital, before competitors battle it out to reach the finish line at Madejski Stadium.

Visit: http://bit.ly/2na72SZ to make a donation to Wolfgang's fundraising page.