hhtMarathon effort by charity’s trustee to raise money for people with learning disabilities.

Hft, a national charity for people with learning disabilities, held a fundraising event at Magdalen College on 8 January in support of their Trustee Nigel Doggett who is competing in the Marathon des Sables in April this year in order to raise money for Hft and in particular Personalised Technology for people supported by the charity .

There were performances from leading actor Juliet Stevenson (Mona Lisa Smile, Bend it Like Beckham) and Anna Lapwood, organist. Support for Nigel’s endeavours were endorsed by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who himself completed the Marathon in 2015, in a personal video message.

The Marathon des Sables is described as the toughest foot race on earth, and involves running six marathons over six days in heat of up to 50 degrees Celsius. The total distance covered is 251km (156 miles). Participants have to carry their own provisions, sleeping gear, medical supplies and essentials for the week. Only water is provided. Heat, blisters and being rounded up by the camel sweepers are just some of the challenges competitors face.

Hft is a recognised leader in using personalised technology (also known as assistive technology) to support people with learning disabilities live more independently and safely.

Hft has recently launched two new applications: e-MAR – Hft’s own electronic medication administration record, which digitalises medication administration – and Lincus – a self-reporting application, designed to help people communicate how they are feeling.

Nigel, a Trustee of Hft for over three years, said:

“I have set myself a challenging target of £100,000 which is helped enormously by the offer of £50k matched funding from Forbes Charitable Foundation. All of the money raised will go to the Hft Personalised Technology programme which really does achieve the very best outcomes for people by enabling them to live as independently and safely as possible.”

Hft currently supports more than 2,500 people with learning disabilities across the country.  Locally, the charity supports more than 100 people in Oxfordshire.  This includes supporting people with learning disabilities to live independently in their own homes, providing employment services to help people develop skills and experience for work and helping people to pursue hobbies, make new friends and get involved in their local communities.

To find out more about Hft, or to find out how you can get involved, please go online to www.hft.org.uk.