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Yorkshire Marathon Man Goes The Extra Mile For Charity After Incredible Weight Loss
Mary's Meals in Malawi
A Yorkshire man who used to be morbidly obese has vowed to run more than 600 miles this year to help raise money to provide school meals for some of the world’s poorest children.

Robert Thewlis, 27, from Dalton, Huddersfield, has set himself the target of clocking up a distance of 1,000km over the course of this year in support of the school feeding charity Mary’s Meals.

He hopes to cover a good part of this challenge with training for the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on May 20.

Robert, who works in the Lockwood headquarters of the UK’s largest dining club, tastecard, weighed more than 20 stone less than two years ago, and was suffering from a range of health issues, including asthma and joint problems.

Robert before his weight loss
He was on the brink of diabetes when he decided to make a pact with his disabled mother Susan to lose weight together.

Tragically, just days after the pair agreed to change their lives around, Susan, 60, died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage.

Devastated by the loss of his mother, Robert vowed to keep the promise they had made and enlisted the help of a personal trainer to help him lose weight.

Just seven months, later, Robert shed an incredible seven stone and is set to use his new-found fitness to help make a difference to the lives of impoverished children around the world.

Robert first learnt about the work of Mary’s Meals through his employer tastecard, which has an on-going partnership with the UK-based charity, having already raised over £270,000 to support its work.

Robert, who works within tastecard’s distribution team, said:
“The idea of running would have terrified me when I was overweight and I could never have imagined that one day I would be undertaking such a challenge.

“However, running has helped me a lot, both physically and mentally, so I thought I might as well take it to the extreme!

“I’m glad I have been able to turn something that was disastrous as the death of my mum, to something positive which I hope will make a difference to many children receiving Mary’s Meals.”

Robert out running
He added:
“I’ve been aware of the work of Marys Meals for the past five years as I’ve been involved with charity fundraising through my employer tastecard. I have seen the amazing impact which our fundraising has on the young people Mary’s Meals supports and their families.

Robert’s first running event was a charity 5k fun run in memory of his mother and he has since participated in a number of 10k runs and a half marathon.

Mary’s Meals currently provides a meal every school day for over 1.2 million impoverished children in 15 countries.

The charity aims to address the immediate needs of a hungry child by giving them something to eat, and to enable that child to receive the education which can offer an escape from poverty. The cost of feeding child for a whole school year through Mary’s Meals is just £13.90.

Where these daily meals are provided, there is a rise in rates of enrolment, attendance and academic performance. Mary’s Meals is a low-cost charity that is committed to spending 93 pence of each £1 donated on its charitable work.

Mary's Meals in Malawi
Bethany Barry, Mary’s Meals’ fundraising co-ordinator for North England, said:
“We are extremely grateful to Robert for helping us reach more children with Mary’s Meals and wish him the very best of luck with his amazing fundraising efforts.

“Through the support of Robert and his colleagues at tastecard, we hope to bring more joy to the lives of these children by giving them the promise of a daily meal in the classroom and the chance of a brighter future.”

To donate to Robert’s fundraising efforts, please visit www.marysmeals.org.uk/fundraising/project/rob-thewlis/rob-runs-a-marathon

Yorkshire Marathon Man Goes The Extra Mile For Charity After Incredible Weight Loss, 11th January 2018, 0:01 AM