We were lucky enough to be joined by two top athletes recently, as they helped Toyota’s UK head office raise a further £4,350 for the Japan earthquake and tsunami appeal.
Paralympic gold medallist Noel Thatcher MBE and Tom Williams, marathon runner and presenter of the popular Marathon Talk podcast, joined a dozen Toyota staff for a 5km sponsored run over Epsom Downs on 13 June.
The event, called Run for Japan, was organised by Toyota employees and raised £2,175 for the British Red Cross appeal. The total was doubled through Toyota’s match funding initiative, the ‘Fund for a Better Tomorrow’, which provides grants to support community initiatives.
A cheque for the additional funding was presented by Naoya Taniguchi, Chairman of Toyota (GB) PLC to the British Red Cross. He said: “We were delighted that Noel and Tom were able to visit us and take part in the run which saw staff raise money for this vital cause.”
Noel, who is registered blind, has competed in six Paralympic Games, winning five gold medals and setting a world record for the 1,500 metres at the Barcelona Paralympics in 1992. He was made an MBE for services to disabled sport in 1997. Fellow runner Tom is a regular marathon competitor, and is the presenter of Marathon Talk with steeplechaser Martin Yelling.
Noel said: “It’s great to witness people from different walks of life united with one common interest – running – to support those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Both Tom and I are touched by the dedication shown by the Toyota employees and the fantastic amount raised.”
To date, Toyota’s fundraising activities in the UK have raised over £47,000 for the Japan earthquake and tsunami appeal. The money collected will go towards providing first aid, emergency healthcare and helping people to rebuild their communities. If you would like to donate, please visit redcross.org.uk/japantoyota.