A RUNNER whose father took his own life two years ago, is to compete in the Madrid Marathon to raise funds for Stars Children’s Bereavement Charity.

Adam Mathias, 28, had been determined to complete his first marathon before turning 30, and will now do so on Sunday 26th September in Spain, proudly watched by his mum and brother.

A PhD graduate from Cambridge, Adam first became aware of Stars when he took part in an initiative which matches students to charities, allowing them to use their skills to solve a problem or add particular value or creativity to an organisation.

The charity’s important provision in supporting young people experiencing bereavement, captured Adam’s imagination – and his desire to do more to help.

“The work the charity does in the Cambridgeshire area is really quite incredible.” He said.

“Children and young people need to know that there is somewhere they can turn if they are dealing with grief, and the team do an amazing job at helping people come to terms with what has happened – at their own pace and in their own way.”

Adam, who now works in Civil Service, knows first hand what grief feels like, and how the loss of a family member can deeply affect young people.

His own father took his life at Christmas in 2019, causing huge heartache for himself, but also his younger siblings.

“Your world absolutely collapses around you when someone close dies, and you can’t underestimate how important it is to have an impartial person you can reach out to, who will understand what to say and how to act,” he continued.

“My sister was only 16 at the time, and being so young, she really needed the kind of special support for young people which Stars are so good at providing.”

Originally from Sussex, but now living in Tooting, Adam has been running throughout the lockdowns of the last 18 months and is excited to be heading abroad for his first marathon race.

“I really can’t wait to get started now,” he said.

“I’ll be proud to be knowing that I’m running in aid of Stars, and doing my bit to raise money to help continue their work.”

Stars Executive Director Dr Stephen Davies thanked Adam for his commitment to the cause.

He said: “We are all so grateful that Adam is participating in the Madrid Marathon for us. We wish him lots of luck and we know that every penny he raises will go toward helping a young person through their grief journey in the months ahead.”

If you’re interested in sponsoring Adam, you can find a link to his fundraising page at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AdamMathias1