Running from Sheffield to Grenfell in memory of fire victims
A fundraiser from Sheffield is running 163 miles from his home city to the site of Grenfell Tower in support of families affected by the devastating blaze.
Mik Parkin, aged 46, of High Green, started running around a decade ago and has previously covered the distance between Sheffield and Liverpool to help relatives of those killed in the Hillsborough disaster.
But his latest challenge is the biggest he has taken on so far.
“I started preparing in February,” said Mik, who works as an area manager for British Heart Foundation. “At first, I was running half marathons to prepare for the run and I have gradually increased my distance. By Easter, I was running 90 miles over the course of the week at that stage I knew I was as ready as I could be."
Mik is 120 miles into his run – just is 43 miles away from achieving his goal. In this time, he has raised £2,210.
He said he was ‘overwhelmed’ by the level of support he has experienced.
He added: "I expected it to be a real grind getting to the target if I am honest yet the support I have received has been incredible. A friend of mine has paid for my hotel for one of the nights and so many people have supported me throughout the journey.
“They have been there for me at times when I have really struggled and they have helped pick me back up. My girlfriend, Claire, deserves a lot of credit as she has been with me throughout my training. Her support has been huge for me."
Mik, a Liverpool fan, was inspired when he saw a banner at a game against Chelsea which read ‘Justice for Grenfell’. A total of 72 people died in the horrific fire in 2017.
“I really felt there was something I could do to help after the tragedy,” he said. “I admit before I got involved I didn't know a great deal about Grenfell but since being involved I have been to two of the silent walks which are held.
“These occasions really bring home the trauma. You see people who have lost their family, friends and their homes. The verdict of the Grenfell inquiry will not be finalised for another three years. I feel it's very important that Grenfell stays in the spotlight and isn't allowed to be brushed under the carpet."
As well as raising money for the Grenfell Foundation, Mik also wants to raise awareness of the problems with exterior cladding faced by residents in tower blocks across the country.
Visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/mikparkin1 to donate.