THEY’VE been in training for the end is in sight for fundraisers’ epic run on Sunday as they tackle the London Marathon.

Here, the Echo profile some of the amazing people from across south Essex who are ready for the 26.1-mile race in the Capital.

They are raising thousands for our cherished south Essex charities, including Havens hospices and other causes which do tremendous work. 

1. Anthony Smith, 59, from Eastwood is set to run the London Marathon to help get a brave girl fighting cancer to Disneyland. 

Ella Molyneux, four, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia last year, and is continuing to receive treatment at Great Ormond Street. 

The four-year-old dreams of being able to go to Disneyland and family friend, Anthony, is hoping to make that a reality. 

He said: “I wanted to do this run for Ella, to help give her a better quality of life.

“We want to get her to Disney because she has been through so much, her life is in Great Ormond Street or Basildon Hospital or Southend and it has thrown the family into turmoil.

“If I can raise more than £1,000 for her, it would be amazing."

To donate, visit

Echo: Anthony Smith and Ella MolyneuxAnthony Smith and Ella Molyneux (Image: Newsquest)

2. Catherine Smollett, a Rayleigh teacher, is set to tackle the London Marathon in a bid give students from less-affluent backgrounds have more opportunities at her school.

The 27-year-old is a design and technology teacher at Sweyne Park School, Rayleigh, and hopes to raise £500. The money raised will then help fund students who wish to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh award.

Ms Smollett said: “It is heart-breaking to see students whose families are unable to afford it. 

“I have had instances of them coming to me and saying that they just cannot do it. I am a huge believer in helping students take part in this and I remember in my own experience, when I did the DofE and other extra-curricular activities, my family couldn’t go on holiday because of how expensive it was.”


Echo: Catherine SmollettCatherine Smollett (Image: Newsquest)

3. Stacey Dennis, a Little Havens nurse, is to run the London Marathon in support of the charity close to her heart.

On Sunday, she will be ticking off a bucket list dream by taking on the marathon in support of Little Havens in Thundersley.

Running the London Marathon has been on Stacey’s bucket list since she volunteered at the event when she was just 11 years old.

The opportunity to run the London Marathon for Little Havens is extra special for Stacey as she knows first-hand the  difference the charity makes.

She said: “When the marathon becomes difficult and I feel like stopping, I will keep running because I know every pound I have raised in sponsorship will make such a difference to our families. Running the marathon is nothing compared to the challenges our children and families face.”


Echo: Stacey DennisStacey Dennis (Image: Newsquest)

4. Chloe Mackintosh, from Rayleigh, is trading her scrubs for running shoes to take part in the London Marathon. 

The veterinary nurse is aiming to take on the marathon to help the animal hospital she works for in Romford. 

Chloe, who is head vet nurse, at the PSDA Pet Hospital in Romford. 

Apart from being a vital member of the hospital’s staff, Chloe is also passionate about the cause she’s supporting.

She said: “I started my career at PDSA, training to become a Vet Nurse, since then I’ve worked my way up to head vet nurse, and now I’m about to leave to go to the Royal Veterinary College.

“I’ve always wanted to do some sort of challenge and raise money for this amazing cause, and this year felt the right time to do it. The service PDSA offers is a lifeline to pets and owners who, without it, would have nowhere else to turn.”

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Echo: Chloe MackintoshChloe Mackintosh (Image: Newsquest)

5. Clair Medhurst, from Rochford, is ready to run in memory of her late mum. 

The UK Power Network employee is raising funds for Havens hospices, which cared for her mum Sandie Neave before her death. 

She said: “When my mum was in her last months back in 2016, the staff at Havens really helped her and my dad.

“I still have the little bowl she decorated and the angel she made at the craft days she attended at the hospice.”

Clair is hoping to complete the marathon in under six hours.

She has been taking part in regular Parkruns and other running events to prepare for the big day. 

Despite only getting her place confirmed two months before the event, Clair feels confident.

She added: “I have a great running club and coach, so I know I can do it.”

To support Clair, visit

Echo: Clair Medhurst with her late mum Clair Medhurst with her late mum (Image: Newsquest)