Nursery worker gearing up for special half marathon debut

A Burnley nursery practitioner is undertaking his first half marathon to raise funds for the NSPCC, having been inspired by the "amazing" charity.
Damian with his nine-month-old daughter, Efia.Damian with his nine-month-old daughter, Efia.
Damian with his nine-month-old daughter, Efia.

Damian Sharples (32) will be taking on the English Half Marathon in Warrington on Sunday, September 17th for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children for whom he has been raising funds through various charitable acts for eight years.

"The NSPCC do an amazing job with very limited funding to support vulnerable children who have been through a distressing period of time," Damian said. "They're the main port of call for people who need the support, so every little helps."

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A nursery practitioner at Towneley Park Children's Nursery on Todmorden Road, Damian has never run a half marathon before but completed the Burnley 10km this year and is building up to doing a marathon next year.

"My work in a children's care home illustrated to me the need to help and support the NSPCC," Damian added ahead of the ninth edition of the run. "When you work with kids, you appreciate the value of these charities.

"The 10k went really well, so I'm confident of progressing up to the half. I'm focused on the charity angle, but if my motivation to achieve a good time helps on the fundraising front then that's great."

With the NSPCC being the English Half Marathon's official partner, Damian will be sure to be running alongside plenty of like-minded fundraisers, and is looking forward to the sense of cooperation that such an undertaking is sure to engender.

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"People will be coming from all counties, towns, and cities, so to know that I'm there from Burnley and contributing for the charity will add to the sense of community," Damian said.

"I set a target of £480, which can provide roughly 10 hours of therapy," he added. "That would be a great contribution."

To make a donation to Damian's cause, head to his JustGiving page at