Eastbourne-educated celebrity to run 200k for charity

Downtown Abbey star Ed Speleers and a friend are planning to run 200k in two days to raise money for a dementia charity.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 12:49 pm

The actor, who was educated at Eastbourne College, will join Tom Morison in tackling a large section of the Cornish coastal path next month.

Tom, whose father Oliver was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia and Alzheimer’s, wants to raise £30,000 for the National Brain Appeal.

The pair struck up a close bond during fundraising runs last year and Ed – who is currently starring in Outlander on Amazon Prime – said he ‘couldn’t not’ help out his pal and neighbour on this latest challenge.

(L-R) Ed Speleers and Tom Morison. (Picture from Tom Morison) (SWNS) SUS-210420-123909001

Tom, 42, a PE teacher, said running had helped him cope with his father’s diagnosis in December 2019.

Mr Morison said, “My dad was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia. He has Logopenic Progressive Aphasia and Alzheimer’s and his deterioration during the Covid-19 pandemic has been quite dramatic.

“I am keen to do my part to help and will be running a 200km stretch of the South West Coastal Path from north to south Cornwall.

“During the last 18 months I have used running as a way of collecting my thoughts and clearing my mind of all the worries and upset that this diagnosis has brought; running has become an essential release.

“During lockdown, I backed on to Ed’s fund raising as we ran 100km around a 1.8km loop of our streets.

“The total funds raised for the NHS Charities Together website was in excess of £13,000; we were amazed with people’s generosity.

“Ed, and other friends from the running community, are joining me throughout the weekend and I hope that the suffering that the impending 200km will provide will go someway to easing the pain of watching this dreadful illness take hold of such a loving, talented and clever man.”

Mr Speleers, 33, started daily 10K runs in 2020 to raise money for the NHS. When he missed 10 days due to an injury, Tom helped him run a 100K loop to make up the miles.

Mr Speleers said, “Having struck up a great friendship with Tom through running and the fact he supported me last year, the minute Tom suggested a challenge it was a bit of a no-brainer for me.

“When you’re doing that sort of endurance, there’s hugely dark moments, and if you’ve got somebody else to guide you through it and to keep reminding what this is for, who it’s for... I couldn’t not do it.”

The pair have already raised more than £14,000 of their £30,000 target and are planning the run on May 29 and 30.

To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tom-morison.