Independent SPAR retailer, Tom Follen will be lacing up his running shoes in April for the iconic London Marathon, raising money for Marie Curie and in memory of his mum, Suzanne.

Tom said: “Marie Curie looked after my mum in the last few weeks of her life and I wanted to do something to say thank you for all the support they gave our family.

“After running the Manchester Half Marathon with my brother in October (for the brain tumour charity that cared for my Mum), I wanted to challenge myself again and raise money for Marie Curie. The London Marathon is one of the most prestigious road races in the world and I think any runner would want to take part at least once in their lifetime.”

Tom needs to raise £2,000 by the 26th  April to be able to take part, with all money going to support Marie Curie and the work they do in supporting families facing terminal illness.

Tom added: “I’m currently training for the marathon in a variety of ways and am splitting my time between road running, the treadmill and fell running. I’m also trekking the Annapurna circuit in March and hoping that the altitude will benefit my training. I’m fairly confident that if I put enough training in, I’ll have done sufficient training to complete the race in a respectable time.”

Please can you help Tom hit his £2,000 fundraising target by donating through his Just Giving page –

Tom is a member of the Follen family who have four SPAR stores in the North West; SPAR Ambleside; SPAR Brock; SPAR Forton and SPAR Ribchester. Tom’s dad, Mark, is also a Northern Guild Committee member and Tom spent a year with James Hall & Co. working with GAP and the trading department, before joining the family business.