Every marathon is a journey, and taking the first step in that journey is always the hardest. When we talk of a marathon, it's that first step that is a commitment, and a concession to what your future will look like.
I made that commitment for the AIRE Centre, an legal charity that is near and dear to me, which helps people very much indeed with legal assistance. Think trafficked children, victims of sexual abuse, and many more categories of the most vulnerable. They litigate before the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court Of Justice and have been involved in over 100 cases since the organisation was founded in 1993. Their policy has always been to offer our litigation expertise in whatever form it is needed, which may mean acting as representatives on the record, sharing expertise on procedural and substantive law, or intervening as an expert third party in cases which we are not assisting in the representation. In non-legalese, they help people who need it the most with services and expertise they could not otherwise have access to.
For me, this journey is personal, as on the day of the marathon, October 2nd, 2022, it would have been the 83rd birthday of my father Basil, who passed away a few months ago. I'm starting training at the absolute last moment, a few weeks post-covid, and only 6 weeks before the race. It's cutting it close, but as with every marathon, my goal will be to cross the finish line in one piece. So far we're 4 out of 4, in some quite difficult circumstances.
Please show your support and commit some funds to the AIRE Centre to be able to continue to do the incredible work they do. And i'll do my best to get to that start line, and a few hours later, hopefully, to that finish line too. This medal will be for all of you, and of course, for Basil.