To celebrate the 40th London Marathon and its 10th year of sponsorship, Virgin Money is inviting charities to apply to be the official charity of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Chris Brasher and John Disley, who created the event, originally aimed for it to use sport to transform people’s lives for the better. To honour the race founders, Virgin Money and London Marathon Events want to find a charity that has, or is looking to launch, a project or programme that encourages, supports and develops people’s engagement in sport, or which uses sport to make a difference in the world and where being the Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year will make all the difference.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director for London Marathon Events, said: “I am delighted that Virgin Money has chosen ‘sport’ to be the beneficiary of the 40th running of the London Marathon. Our co-founders, my father Chris Brasher and John Disley, were huge advocates of the power of sport in transforming lives for the better. They passionately believed that sport teaches everyone so much about important life values such as competition, integrity, hard work and teamwork.  

“In recent years, it has been shown that sport - and particularly running - has powerful benefits to mental health and well-being. In 2017, the Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign, led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, helped to change the national conversation about mental health. We believe that choosing a sport-related project as the beneficiary of the 40th London Marathon is a great tribute to both our history and what our event is all about.”

Jo Barnett, Executive Director of Virgin Money Giving, the official fundraising charity partner of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “We are delighted to offer this fantastic opportunity to charities to become the official charity of the world’s biggest annual single-day fundraising event, the London Marathon in 2020. We want to hear from charities whose work is aligned with the London Marathon founders’ belief in sport’s capacity to inspire people to have fun, providing happiness and a sense of achievement.”

As well as being named the official charity of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, the chosen charity will also be Virgin Money’s corporate charity for 2019-20.

More than £890m has been raised for charity through the event since it was first held in 1981 and this year’s event raised an incredible £61.5m, breaking the world record for a single day annual fundraising event for the eleventh successive year.

Interested charities should email charityoftheyear@virginmoney.com for an entry form.