A pharmacist from south-west London is taking part in the virtual 2020 London Marathon this weekend “to raise the profile of community pharmacy”.
Raj Patel from Kingston Upon Thames in Greater London has set himself a challenge to run 26.2 miles in total to raise a minimum of £2,000 for The Alzheimer’s Society.
He mentioned that the reason he chose to support The Alzheimer’s Society was personal – having witnessed a number of his family members suffer from dementia.
As a community pharmacist himself and a former board member of the National Pharmacy Association, Patel is hoping “to highlight the great work” his colleagues in the sector have been doing.
On Sunday (October 4), he aims to run to a total of 33 pharmacies which make up his route – starting from and ending at his home in Kingston, passing through Twickenham, Richmond, New Malden, Surbiton, Chessington, Esher, Thames Ditton and East Molesey.
“I would like to commend the great work that pharmacy and their teams are doing and continue to do so under the extreme conditions during a pandemic,” Patel said, setting out his motivation to take part in the marathon.
“Community pharmacy is at the heart of patient care and is a resource that the NHS does not fully appreciate. I am hoping that my effort will help raise the profile of the sector and the great work it does,” he added.
Calling community pharmacy “the true heartbeat of the NHS,” he said: “During the pandemic when patients could not access any other healthcare service easily community pharmacies stayed open for face-to-face consultations, often with extended hours, putting our lives at risk for the benefit of our patients’ health.”
The virtual 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will take place on Sunday 4 October and participants will have 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete the 26.2 miles, which they can choose to run, walk or jog.
Upon completing his marathon, Patel calculates he will have run a total of 28.71 miles.