Two North East teenagers were cheering for their older brother when he competed the London Marathon this Sunday – as he took on the challenge for a cause that’s close to their hearts.

David Dingle, who’s a member of our sales team in the Newcastle Barker and Stonehouse store, completed his first ever marathon on Sunday, to raise funds for Winston’s Wish – the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK.

The organisation offers practical support and guidance to bereaved children, their families and professionals.

David Dingle London Marathon runner

David’s younger half brother and sister Molly, 16, and Matthew Grey, 18, lost their dad very suddenly in 2006, when they were just nine and seven years old.

David said: “Winston’s Wish has been brilliant at supporting Matty and Molly after they lost their dad, my step-dad. Even now, nearly ten years later, Molly is still involved with the charity.”

“The work it does is so important, as the impact of bereavement upon children’s well-being – both emotional and psychological – is huge.

“When I signed up to run for the charity in the marathon they sent me a handwritten card and gemstone which I kept with me as I ran the race.  It helped to keep me focused and acted as a gentle reminder of all the young people that Winston’s Wish supports.”

David trained for months and has had some special help from his training partner – his French bulldog Orson.

Matthew, who is studying his A-Levels at Newcastle Sixth Form College, said: “We heard about the charity a few years after my dad died.

“Before that I had found it quite difficult to talk about things with other people, but it was easy with Winston’s Wish.  It felt like they knew and understood what I was going through – it really helped me a lot.”

Barker and Stonehouse’s Newcastle store manager, Jill Marriott, said: “We’re immensely proud of what David has done and our team is behind him 100%.

“The London Marathon is no mean feat and if anyone wants to help boost the funds by sponsoring David we’d be very grateful.”

Completing the race in the fantastic time of 4 hours and 34 minutes, David said: “It was really tough, I wanted to quit so many times but kept thinking of people’s donations – and my brother and sister – who I had in my mind as I crossed the finish line. It was a very emotional moment – especially when I saw all my family waiting for me.”

Lucy French, Events Fundraiser at Winston’s Wish, said: “We’re hugely grateful that David has chosen to raise money for Winston’s Wish by running the London Marathon.

“It’s a huge task and all the money David raises goes directly to our work supporting bereaved children and their families when they need it most.”

Please donate to David’s effort by visiting his Just Giving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/David-Dingle/