Nathan Marshall

Nathan Marshall is an ultramarathon runner who has taken on unbelievable challenges to raise money for charity. His running has become more than just lacing up his trainers – he runs to inspire and support others around him. 

Image: Nathan Marshall

At the beginning of 2023, Nathan began to book ultramarathons with Pegasus, a group of ultra-endurance running enthusiasts who organise challenges around the world. He challenged himself to complete the ‘Pegasus Slam’, a series of six ultramarathons ranging from 32 miles to a huge 52-mile run over Caenarfon Fans and Breacon, completing one ultramarathon every month from April to September. Nathan ran this incredible feat in support of the charity Bigmoose, a Cardiff charity that provides life-saving therapy and support in aid of mental health. 

As the year went on and he continued to complete the ultramarathons in the Slam, Nathan set his sights on an even bigger target: an invite-only multi-day ultramarathon around Pembroke in support of Bigmoose. Totalling 160 miles in five days, this would be Nathan’s biggest test yet.

Image: Nathan Marshall

Nathan says that his first thought was “What am I thinking?”, but his doubts proved to be no obstacle and he completed the 160-mile ultramarathon with 30 others, including Jeff and Chloe Smith, the father and daughter team behind Bigmoose. In doing so, Nathan helped Bigmoose to complete their ‘Project 1 Million’, a mission to raise a million pounds in aid of mental health support.

Completing this incredible challenge wasn’t enough for Nathan and he decided to run a 50km ultramarathon in December around Pontcanna. On the day, Nathan was joined by twelve other runners in Pontcanna who ran varying distances with him. As well as this, thirty supporters of Nathan who weren’t able to join him in Cardiff decided to run an ultramarathon at Box Hill in Surrey, in addition to five runners who were running in the Peak District and the Lake District. Word of his challenge soon spread and Nathan has since been invited to talk on numerous running podcasts, as well as recently launching his podcast ‘Just Run’, available on Spotify. 

Image: Nathan Marshall

Nathan isn’t showing any signs of stopping. Commencing on the 20th of July 2024, Nathan is due to tackle his biggest challenge yet. He will take on the phenomenal Bigmoose 870, an 870-mile run around the Welsh coastal path. Nathan says that it’s been his dream for four years to run the Welsh coast since he saw Pegasus’ Rhys Jenkins complete it, and he will be again running in support of Bigmoose to help them to reach their new £15 million target. He will be joined by his son Quinn, who is due to complete a 10km run of his own every day that Nathan spends running. Nathan isn’t oblivious to the size of this staggering run – “It’s going to suck,” he says, “but I know I won’t give up unless I’m unable to walk with a serious injury.” 

To donate to Nathan on his longest ultramarathon yet and to keep up to date with his running, visit his Instagram.

Wendy Hobbs 

Author, lawyer, ambassador and volunteer Wendy Hobbs works tirelessly in support of Dreams & Wishes, an 100% volunteer–based, multi-award-winning charity dedicated to granting unforgettable wishes to seriously ill children and their families. Every penny of funds raised by the charity goes directly to helping the people who need it most. 

Image: Wendy Hobbs

This January, Wendy celebrated eight years with Dreams & Wishes having raised over £260,650 since becoming an unpaid volunteer for the charity. A powerhouse of fundraising, Wendy Hobbs has been instrumental in changing the lives of so many. Wendy has also been recognised for her remarkable work with numerous awards, including being named in the I Am Woman Top 100 Business Women in Wales Award in 2018 as well as earning the Breakthrough Brand Award, Inspiring Leader Award and Online Influence Award and the 2019 Zokit Business Awards. 

As a board member, ambassador and passionate volunteer and fundraiser for Dreams & Wishes, Wendy has helped the charity grant over 2000 wishes to children and families. In addition to numerous parties, celebrations, trips and events that are organised for the children, wishes have included arranging holidays across the UK, Lamborghini trips and high tea with the King and Queen Consort. A truly amazing charity for a cause that affects so many, at the 2023 Child of Wales Awards, Dreams & Wishes was awarded the Outstanding Charity of the Year Award in recognition of their incredible services.

Image: Wendy Hobbs

In 2015, Wendy ventured into the world of fiction writing and published the first Volume of The Claudia Quash Series, ‘Claudia Quash: The Spell of Pencliff.’ This was closely followed by ‘Claudia’s Special Wish’, a story inspired by the children that she works with. The two novels follow Claudia on a magical fantasy adventure and all profit raised from book sales goes entirely to the Dreams & Wishes charity. In 2016, Wendy was invited to read ‘Claudia’s Special Wish’ in the House of Commons and has since returned annually with the children and families, most recently in December of 2023 when Wendy was presented with a gift from Sir Lyndsay Hoyle, the speaker of the House of Commons. 

This past Christmas, Wendy also was instrumental in volunteering to deliver Christmas presents with Father Christmas from Dreams & wishes to children in the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital. Today, she continues to fundraise for Dreams & Wishes and be an absolute inspiration for the Cardiff community and beyond.

Visit Dreams and Wishes to find out more about the charity and how you can help.

Simon Clarke 

Beginning as a group of friends sharing stories, opening up to each other and helping each other tackle daily challenges over a bottle of wine, Simon Clarke’s Speakeasy Club in Penarth provides a network of support that encourages the community to talk more openly to improve mental health and create a culture where learning, being inquisitive and sharing our emotions is the norm. 

Image: Speakeasy Club

After being diagnosed in May 2021 with depression and severe anxiety, Simon knew that he had to reassess his priorities. After working for National Governing Bodies in sport for twelve years, he set his sights on creating Speakeasy Club. “In a weird way, although horribly tough at times, it’s been the best thing to ever happen to me,” says Simon, “I was able to stop, reassess my habits and reprioritise things in my life.” 

With their four core values of authenticity, empathy, fun and inquisitiveness, Speakeasy Club offers a huge range of support networks, events and advice. One look at their website will demonstrate the lengths that Simon has gone to support his community in a quest to make conversations about mental health easier to access – there is an abundance of information that is readily available. 

Sport, reading, wine-tasting, and speaker talks; Speakeasy Club has no shortage of fun, engaging events that coincide with their mission to get people talking. One aspect is called The Huddle, an ‘online clubhouse’ with well-being in mind designed to make information as relevant and easily accessible as possible. From recommendations on what to watch and read to advice on professional and personal development, The Huddle is a one-stop shop for advice. 

Speakeasy Club hosts various events across community venues in which they prioritise “reinvesting back into these vital venues, supporting community clubs and fundraising for fantastic causes.” Specialising in hosting interviews and Q&As with role models, networking events, sporting experiences and more, Speakeasy Club has evolved massively from its humble origins. But, its message and objectives have remained the same. Giving back to the community and helping those around him are still championed by Simon. Since 2022, they have invested £16,130 and counting back into community sports facilities, raised more than £9,350 for charities and engaged with 1,390 people. 

Image: Speakeasy Club

Most recently, Simon Clarke has launched a podcast that he hosts called ‘Where’s Your Clubhouse?’. His objective is to further destigmatise conversations surrounding mental health, raising awareness of the importance of well-being and mental health in sport and approach difficult conversations in the most supportive and non-judgmental way possible. 

To learn more about Speakeasy Club and their events, visit their website here.

Author WCS

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