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Forty years of The LMCT

40th anniversary for The London Marathon Charitable Trust

2021 marks the 40th anniversary of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, the charity created in 1981 by the founders of the London Marathon to distribute the surplus from the world’s greatest marathon.

Forty years ago, The Trust awarded its first ever grant to the Ferndale Sports Centre in Brixton after the inaugural London Marathon in 1981. Since then, it has distributed more than £93 million to more than 1,470 projects that inspire activity.

For many years, these grants were only available to projects and organisations in London or in areas where events organised by London Marathon Events took place. However, in 2018, The Trust expanded its reach and announced a Strategic Partnership Grants programme that has enabled funding to go to projects across the UK.

That means everyone who enters the Virgin Money London Marathon is not only benefitting their own health, but is also contributing to projects that improve the health of the nation too.

The London Marathon Charitable Trust

One of the London Marathon Charitable Trust grantees

Inspiring Activity

Funding highlights

Millions of people have benefitted from The Trust’s funding over the course of the past 40 years, with activities ranging from archery to Zumba receiving support. Playing fields earmarked for development have been saved, sports facilities revitalised and projects that inspire activity from people of all ages and backgrounds supported. 

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 saw grants issued to a project to improve the health and wellbeing of young homeless people in the north of England and Scotland through activity. There was also £1 million awarded to Transport for Greater Manchester and £2 million to Transport for London to fund walking and cycling schemes in the two cities.

A further £2 million was shared between a range of smaller projects, all of which have demonstrated the ability to inspire activity.

  • Shimisa Santhirasenan (TfL Project Lead for Car Free Day), Heidi Alexander (Deputy Mayor for Transport), Will Norman (London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner), Andrew Reynolds (Chair of the EC Partnership, representing local businesses) and Olu Alake (The London Marathon Charitable Trust)

Shimisa Santhirasenan (TfL Project Lead for Car Free Day), Heidi Alexander (Deputy Mayor for Transport), Will Norman (London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner), Andrew Reynolds (Chair of the EC Partnership, representing local businesses) and Olu Alake (The London Marathon Charitable Trust) at the launch of Car Free Day

The Trust has a vision of a society in which everyone is physically active which contributes to their health and wellbeing.

Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of The London Marathon Charitable Trust

Covid-19 challenges

Due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, The Trust has temporarily paused accepting new applications for grants. However, during a time when exercise and keeping healthy has never been more important, it has supported projects which have been at the forefront of ensuring people remained fit and active.

Top-up grants were awarded to Our Parks, a scheme that runs free, outdoor exercise classes in parks across London and now created a range of free online sessions for its users. 

Other projects previously funded by The Trust have also stepped up to help during the pandemic. The Black Prince Trust and Greenhouse Sports, both in London, turned their sports centres into food banks while Access Sport lent bikes to NHS staff so they could get to and from work.

Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of The Trust, said: “The Trust has a vision of a society in which everyone is physically active which contributes to their health and wellbeing. The Covid-19 pandemic is a great threat to this vision but during these difficult and troubling times for us all, physical activity has never been so important. Not just for our physical health, but for our mental health, too. We are proud of the work we do to provide funds to inspire activity.”

For more information, visit The London Marathon Charitable Trust website.

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      Tackle the UK’s greatest mass participation challenge

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      We would love you to be part of the other great events we organise throughout the year

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