Swanswell worker to highlight recovery journey at London Marathon

07 February 2012

Swanswell’s getting in the sporting spirit ahead of the Olympics after being awarded a place in the 2012 London Marathon.

Ian MacKenzie, a Senior Practitioner from Birmingham, will be pounding the streets of the capital for Swanswell – a national charity which helps people overcome drug, alcohol and other problem behaviour – among over 35,000 other runners on 22 April 2012.

He’s hoping to raise at least £1000 towards new developments that help Swanswell achieve its ambition of a society free from problem drug and alcohol use.

In 2010/11, Swanswell invested over £4.4 million in alcohol and drug treatment, helping more than 7,000 people using face-to-face support and over 90,000 people through online clinics at Netmums.

For every £1 spent on alcohol treatment, £5 can be saved for the UK economy. For every £1 spent on drug treatment, £2.50 can be saved.

It’ll be the first time that Swanswell and Ian, who works at the charity’s Birmingham office, have taken part in the yearly event, which passes many of London’s landmarks such as Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace.

Although Ian is a seasoned runner, he felt particularly passionate about taking part in this opportunity.

He said: ‘I wanted to run the London Marathon for Swanswell because I think it’s a great metaphor for a person’s journey to recovery from substance misuse.

It can often take a while to make that first step to getting help but once you’ve started on that journey, and with the right support along the way, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Once you’ve crossed the finish line, there’s lots to celebrate and it’s a great time to look back to see what you’ve achieved along the way – much the same as running over 26 miles in the London Marathon.

It’ll be a challenge but one I’m determined to complete and to do so in a good time. There’s lots of winter training involved, some long cold runs ahead, but it will all be worth it in the end.’

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘We’re thrilled that Swanswell has gained a place in this year’s marathon and we wish Ian all the best with his training ahead of the big day.

Hopefully Ian’s marathon run will inspire many more people to do something that will help themselves and others to change and be happy.’

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