Former X Factor winner Sam Bailey is set to go the distance at the London Marathon this year in aid of a very special cause.
The Leicestershire mum-of-three will be running for Leicester Children’s Hospital appeal, which aims to give the East Midlands its first ever dedicated children’s hospital.
Covering the 26.2 miles for the first time alongside husband Craig Pearson and personal trainer Dan Morris, Sam hopes to raise over £10,000 to help support the campaign, which has been led by Leicester Hospitals Charity.
Its plan is to create a hospital where all children’s services are under one roof, delivering a range of care for families living in the East Midlands.
Former prison officer Sam, 42, officially opened the charity’s fundraising hub at the Leicester Royal Infirmary last September and says its campaign is close to her heart.
“I feel proud to be doing what I can for this appeal,” she said. “Being a mum myself, I know how hard it can be to see any child suffer. It’s why I want to help Leicester and the East Midlands by doing something which I know will be tough but will really help such a great cause.
“Thankfully, I’ve got my amazing husband Craig and some great friends to help push me along and I am encouraging anyone to donate whatever they can, however big or small.”
Sam is also keen to honour the late Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was a major advocate of Leicester Hospitals Charity and donated £2 million to the organisation following the club’s historic 2016 Premier League title win.
“He was an incredible man who did so much for this city,” said Sam. “He was also passionate about local causes that do so much for our communities and families and that is also why I want to run for a charity he so deeply cared about.”
Sam has already raised nearly £5,000 via her fundraising page, and her efforts are set to be recognised this Saturday at Leicester Riders’ upcoming home game against B. Braun Sheffield Sharks.
Sam and charity representatives will be honoured during the game’s half-time with a special presentation from sponsors and local affiliates, including Leicester-based LED lighting firm Ventola Projects.
The business, which operates out of Anstey, is also set to be a shirt sponsor for Sam when she tackles the marathon challenge on Sunday April 26th.
“The cause Sam is running for will do so much for a city we’re proud to call our home, and we’re backing her every mile of the way,” said Ventola Projects MD Mick Ventola.
Sam’s fundraising efforts will go towards the £7.5million appeal to help complete the first phase of the new Leicester Children’s Hospital.
It is currently calling on people across Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland and the wider East Midlands to donate to and show their support for the cause.
“At present the East Midlands has some great specialist care services for children, but this will bring several departments under one roof, further improving healthcare prospects across the region,” said Gareth Aston, Leicester Hospitals Charity’s head of fundraising.
“We thank Sam, her sponsors and everyone across the region who has so far contributed to this great cause.”
For more information on Leicester Hospitals Charity and its fundraising appeal, including details on how to sign up as a supporter, visit https://www.leicesterhospitalscharity.org.uk/dothemproud.
To donate to Sam’s Virgin Money Giving fundraising page, see https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=SamBailey9&pageUrl=1.
"Being a mum myself, I know how hard it can be to see any child suffer. Its why I want to help Leicester and the East Midlands."