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Notts Runner Keeps Going


He’s spent years working with disabled people and raising thousands of pounds for charity. Now, as he prepares for his fifth year of fundraising, Alun Millard is hoping to raise even more. Daniel Angelini had a chat with him.

Since the start of the decade, Nottingham's Alun Millard has raised over £2000 for charities including the Cystic Fibrosis Fund and Mencap.

As a support worker at Mencap, he helps people with learning disabilities to live independently, which can involve anything from helping them cook a meal to organising a holiday. Working a busy schedule of various day and night shifts leaves him exhausted, but luckily he found a few minutes to speak to me from his home in Chilwell and explained that his work was tiring but extremely rewarding: “The best thing about my job is seeing how far someone can progress when they are given the opportunity.


"It helps to remind you why you do the job you do.”


“People I support have developed skills which they never knew they had because they didn't have those opportunities. When you see that progression, and hear the compliments from families, you know that you've done something right. It helps to remind you why you do the job you do" “It does leave me rather tired, so I enjoy my sleep. A mid-afternoon nap is truly one of life’s pleasures.” Alun has worked at Mencap for over 10 years, and in 2010 he decided to raise money for the charity by shaving his head, in what would be the first of many fundraising campaigns. He reminisces about how it all began: “I was talking to a fellow Notts County fan about hairstyles and how I had never shaved my hair off completely. He joked about donating to charity if I did and that was the start of my fundraiser.” Alun and other Notts County fans were invited by the new Notts County Football Club chairman Ray Trew to hand out Easter eggs in the QMC Children’s Ward. Mr Trew thanked the fans for their help by offering them executive seats at the last game of the season. At the game, Alun saw an opportunity to boost his fundraising efforts. “I spoke with various staff members at Notts County to get money shakers around the ground during that game. I also did my head-shave on the pitch before the match started in front of 9000 fans.” After that, the donations poured in and he raised £1500. Buoyed by this success, Alun went on to raise £600 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust by growing a mullet and running the Nottingham half-marathon in 2011. 'It's not right' In 2013, he ran the half-marathon again, this time raising over £500 for the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Association. His late aunt Elena had suffered from the condition, which is similar to Motor Neurone Disease but less common. “It’s a cause close to my heart. I’d never heard of the condition until my folks told me that my auntie had had it. There’s no treatment, no cure, the average life expectancy is about 7 years, and Aunty Elaine didn’t even get that. It’s not right.”


"I wanted to give something back.”


Last year, Alun raised money for Nottingham Mencap in memory of his good friend David Emerson. He said: “We got on exceptionally well, sharing a passion for the same football team, and when he passed away, it was a logical choice to fundraise in his memory. Nottingham Mencap was a place that he went to once a week, every week. It was an important part of his life. I wanted to give something back." Alun raised £295 by running the Nottingham half-marathon for a third time, but he almost didn’t make it after getting shin splints a few months before the day of the event. “Shin splints is a bit of a catch-all term for pain and inflammation in the shin area. Early in 2014 I was running to get back into exercising and I was getting discomfort in my right leg. “I've done 3 half-marathons, all in Nottingham. Last year was by far the toughest for me. I thought of David and wanted to make him and his family proud. “Finishing a half-marathon for me has always felt a mixture of exhausting and amazing. I've always struggled to stick at things and see them through, so it felt amazing to have done it when it seemed like it was all over before it started.” Shin splints Now in his fifth year of fundraising, Alun’s focussing on a new campaign to raise money for Cancer Research UK. “My current plan is to attempt the Nottingham Half-Marathon again but the shin splints are always on my mind. “I'm running in memory of Elaine Brooks. I never actually got the opportunity to meet her in the flesh, but she and her son were both well-known on a popular Notts County message-board. Elaine was someone who could get on with everyone and passed away in December 2014.”


"I may have cursed, grimaced, limped and hobbled, but I was determined.”


With the possibility of shin splints returning and ruining his running, he briefly considers other options. “To be honest, if I am unable to run this year due to shin splints, I will probably have to knock running on the head, continue the fundraising into 2016 with some other activity. Maybe it would be shaving off my beard, which I've had for something like 18 months or so and refuse to shave off, or the 3 Peaks Challenge.” With his thoughts firmly on the future, Alun pauses to look back on the most memorable moment of his fundraising career. “I think walking out onto a pitch, surrounded by 9000 football fans has to be up there. And the free bar afterwards didn't hurt! I was also able to meet Peter Schmeichel, who was a footballing hero of mine back in the day, and hold the League Two trophy. It was a very fun day!” For more information about Alun’s fundraising visit www.alun.be, or donate via www.justgiving.com/anonypie/

Written by Daniel Angelini


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Alun is an inspiration, as someone who knew 'Anony' - I am touched by this and when I first that this was taking place, I knew it would be a nice tribute to the lady herself. Her death really shook me and I feel honoured to have known her and have been in attendance of her funeral.

Our match chat isn't the same without her but Canadian and PTID have continued what she started.

Well Done Alun for continuing and running for charity but thanks for doing it with Annoy at heart. :)


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a very good story here, really sad about about what happened to anony. part of the glue of this website and although i did not know her, i do feel her loss. keep smiling joe! i know how much it upset you.

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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