UTB London Marathon team aims to raise £10,000 to help young homeless people



A team from United Trust Bank (UTB) is aiming to raise £10,000 for the Bank’s Charity of the Year by completing this year’s TCS London Marathon.

Buster Tolfree and Liam Stannard from UTB’s Mortgage Division, Natasha Thomas from Finance and Gerard Morgan Jackson from Structured Property Finance, are running the punishing 26.2 mile route around London on the 2nd October 2022 in support of DePaul, a charity committed to helping young homeless people.

The team have a fundraising target of £5,000 which UTB will match to take the total to £10,000. At present they are halfway to their £5,000 target with a month to go and are appealing to generous friends and colleagues for their support and encouragement.

It will be Liam Stannard’s first marathon (and last, he says!) and he is hoping to complete the course in under 5 hours.

Training hasn’t always gone to plan and he has abandoned a couple of training runs, one due to the heat when he had to call his wife to pick him up 5 miles from home, and another when he ran past a mate outside a pub and decided to stop for a few beers instead!

Buster Tolfree, UTB’s Director of Mortgages, has completed several half-marathons and long distance jog/walk events including the 17 mile ‘Fan Dance’, a notorious SAS challenge up and down Pen y Fan in South Wales.

His training has included a 2-hour run on a gym treadmill to avoid the heatwave during which he watched the movie ‘Matrix 4’ to pass the time.

Unfortunately he says it was so dull it made the run feel even longer! Buster is aiming for a time of around 4.5 hours but will settle for under 5 if he finishes on his feet and not “in the back of a St John’s Ambulance.”

Natasha Thomas, Financial Controller at UTB, ran a marathon six years ago and has found training through the summer heat difficult.

However, losing a toenail has been the worst injury so far but she did have to Uber back home from one run because of a knee problem.

However, leaving those small set-backs aside, she has completed a 17 mile training run and has a plan to build up her miles in time for race day. Natasha is aiming for a 4.5 hour finish time.

Gerard Morgan Jackson has completed quite a few marathons and more recently has taken to climbathons, marathons up mountains, to increase the challenge.

Recent conquests have included the Mount Kinabalu Climbathon in Borneo at a height of 13,435ft, and the Pico de Orizaba. At a huge 18,491ft it is the highest mountain in Mexico and third highest in North America.

Gerard has also run the 64 mile London to Brighton race and is aiming to complete the London Marathon in under 4 hours.

Buster Tolfree, Director of Mortgages – United Trust Bank, said: 

“DePaul is a fantastic charity doing great work to help get homeless young people off the streets and give them a fresh start in life.

We’re all privileged to have good jobs and safe places to sleep at night, so the whole team want to raise as much as we can to help lots of young people who just need a bit of support to turn their lives around.

We’re hoping our generous colleagues and associates will donate a few quid to boost our total. We’re going to need all the encouragement we can get!”

You can make a donation via the team’s JustGiving page –  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/utbmarathon2022