The organisers of the Reading Half Marathon have today announced the local charity partners for the 2018 race, taking place on Sunday 18 March.

Reading-based Creating Better Futures is among the charity partners.

Also named are Berkshire's First Days, Helen and Douglas House and Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA) provides vital medical care across Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, to critically ill or injured patients. The doctor and paramedic crews bring the hospital to the roadside, delivering an advanced level of critical care, fast.

Ruth Dunkin, head of Community & Events said: “TVAA has a long history of supporters participating in Reading Half and, as a charity, we have attended for many years. To become one of the official local charity partners this year is fantastic. This is a high-profile event, and coupled with the existing support we receive in the region, we hope there will be a sea of people running in our bright red and yellow tops.

“Running for TVAA, we will provide you with lots of support to help you achieve your fundraising goals and a training plan to get you to the finish line. Just think, with every step you make, and every pound you raise, you help our crew step out and get to the next patient. We only exist through kind charitable donations and support.”

First Days provides practical support for families living in poverty in Berkshire and beyond.

The charity redistributes donated toys, clothes and equipment to families referred by childcare professionals such as social workers, midwives and schools.

Annette Honeyball, fundraising events manager said: “One in four children in Reading are classed as living in poverty; we receive a request for help for a child on average every 14 hours. In this affluent part of the country it's often a hidden problem - six year olds sleeping in travel cots because there's no money to buy a bed, toddlers sleeping in their clothes as a choice has to be made between paying for food and heating. Partnering with Reading Half Marathon, we hope to raise awareness of the charity and vital funds for new items such as mattresses and car seats. We loved being a part of the race in 2017 and can’t wait to return bigger and better for 2018.”

Helen & Douglas House cares for terminally ill children, young adults and their families across Berkshire with exceptional hospice care. Through helping families to deal with the implications of living with a child who will die prematurely, they can make the most of their precious time together.

Hannah Barrett, events manager for Helen & Douglas House comments: “We are delighted to be a charity partner of the Reading Half marathon. Each year the hospice needs to raise over £5 million to continue providing care, the large majority of this comes through people donating and fundraising through challenges like the Reading Half.

“Such a highly acclaimed running event, we wanted Team HDH to be part of the electric atmosphere all the race reviews talk about! We look forward to cheering everyone on. Only 5 months to go! Good luck.”

Creating Better Futures lifts orphans and vulnerable children in Africa out of poverty through access to education. Based in Reading and run by a team of volunteers, the charity provides school fees for 170 children and run feeding programmes at three primary schools (catering for over 2,000 children with a nutritious meal each school day).

Michael Dix, co-founder of Creating Better Futures said: “Over the past five years, many of our supporters have taken part in the Reading Half Marathon and it has become a major fundraising event for our charity.

“We love a bit of fancy dress - tutus, batman, super mario and even a twosie (yes, a two person onesie!) have taken to the course. This year we are hoping to have runners dressed as Lions, Giraffes and Elephants, bringing a bit of Africa to the race. Join our pride - every pound raised can feed a child for a month, so each runner fundraising will know that every step they take is making a real difference to thousands of lives!”

Judith Manson, race director, added: “Charities are integral to the Reading Half Marathon. We are immensely proud of the work of our local charity partners and look forward to supporting them on their journey. The 2018 event promises to be another great year for charities to spread the word about the brilliant work they’re doing while raising vital funds.

“Seeing runners of all ages participate on behalf of their chosen charity is incredibly moving. Running for a cause so close to their hearts really gives them that extra drive to push themselves across the Madejski Stadium finish line.”

The race organiser is hoping to build on the fantastic achievements of 2017; nearly 15,000 runners took part in the world-renowned event raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities across Berkshire. In 2017 Thames Valley Air Ambulance raised a staggering £9,995.

The Reading Half Marathon offers a range of charity packages - platinum, gold, silver, bronze and local. 

For more event and partner charity information visit: