This year, AIG volunteers played their part in cheering a record 40,000 runners at the London Marathon, including three members of AIG’s London Running Club, who raised funds for mental health campaign Heads Together. This included Anthony Baldwin, UK and AIG Europe CEO; Steve Connett, AIG Complex Adjuster; and Richard Smith, Strategy Associate EMEA.
The 2017 London Marathon, the largest charity running event of its kind in the UK, attracted 800,000 spectators. Over 20 AIG employees and their friends and family cheered the runners and helped out at a post-race reception organized by the event’s headline campaign – The Royal Foundation’s Heads Together – a coalition of eight charities, including Contact (a military mental health coalition), that is working to change the conversation around mental health and wellbeing.
As Lead Corporate Partner of The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund, which supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick military personnel, AIG supported Heads Together, raising both money and awareness for the campaign.
Sarah Davies, Endeavour Fund and volunteering lead, said, “A huge thanks to all of the supporters and especially to our wonderful runners who gave up their time to train, and our enthusiastic volunteers who made sure all of the Heads Together runners had the support they needed on race day.”
Iowa Morgan, disAbilities and Allies Employee Resource Group (ERG) Chair and a volunteer at the event, said, “I had an awesome time! It was great meeting the charity partners of Heads Together and hearing all about their work, and helping the runners and their families after the race.”
Anthony Baldwin: “It takes real courage to step forward and address mental issues, and help those who need the support of those around them. This marathon is to let those people know that they have my full support.”
Steve Connett: “I am grateful for the opportunity to help the campaign in raising awareness and encouraging discussion surrounding mental health and trying to bring an end to the stigma that is sadly still associated with it.”
Richard Smith: “As mental health and wellbeing are such under-discussed issues in our society, it’s inspiring to be running with a charity campaigning to raise awareness, change the discourse and provide help for people with mental health challenges.”
Together, AIG’s runners and the London Fundraising Challenge – where colleagues were invited to row their fastest within 30 seconds using a rowing machine – raised an impressive £17,500 for Heads Together. Congratulations to the winners of the fundraising challenge – Chloe Green and George Gatehouse, and the raffle winner Dan Price – for their support!
In the run-up to the London Marathon, AIG’s London Running Club hosted two inspiring British and American wounded veterans, Karl Hinett and Ivan Castro, who spoke about why they were running two marathons in one week – the Boston Marathon (17 April) and the London Marathon. Last year, Karl and Ivan spoke to colleagues in New York on Veterans Day and Karl also helped to launch AIG’s London Running Club.
Both served in Iraq – Ivan was blinded during combat and Karl was involved in an attack resulting in 37% burns to his hands, legs, arms and face. They discovered that running played a huge part in their physical and mental recovery, serving also as a way of inspiring others. Their efforts inspired 16 veterans to participate in this year’s London Marathon. Watch their short film here.
Congratulations to all AIG colleagues who participated in this year’s marathon, some of whom ran for different charities.