AN ANDOVER worker will take on the challenge of running a marathon to help change the lives of disabled children.

Dad Andy Hastilow, who works as an operations director for Stannah Stairlift, will take on the gruelling Virgin London Marathon in April to raise vital funds for national charity Caudwell Children.

The father-of-two, who only took up running 18 months ago in a bid to lose weight, hopes to complete the 26-mile run through the streets of London in less than four hours.

At 16 stone, Andy, of Waterlooville, decided enough was enough 18 months ago and took up running to keep fit and lose weight.

After learning about the work of Caudwell Children, Andy saw the Virgin London Marathon as the ultimate challenge on his mission to improve his health.

Andy said “Through my work for Stannah Stairlift I have close connections with the disability industry and as a parent I was profoundly moved by the work of Caudwell Children and wanted to help.

“I was really getting into my running at the time and doing the London Marathon seemed like the ultimate challenge.

“When I found out the charity had places I knew I had to take the leap to marathon distance.”

He added: “Signing up has provided me with massive amounts of motivation and I hope to complete the run in less than four hours, which considering I was 16 stone 18 months ago isn’t bad.”

Andy is hoping to raise more than £2,000 for Caudwell Children through sponsorship.

Trudi Beswick, chief executive of Caudwell Children, said: “The London Marathon is a huge challenge to take on and we are incredibly thankful that Andy has chosen to raise funds for Caudwell Children.

“It’s thanks to the determination and dedication of individuals like Andy that we are able to help change the lives of so many disabled children.

“We would urge people to support Andy’s endeavour and help him in his quest to help the lives of others.

“We will be supporting Andy throughout his fundraising and rooting for him on the day in his bid to complete the famous event.”

All the money raised by Andy will go to Caudwell Children, who provide practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.

To sponsor Andy, visit justgiving.

com/Andy-Hastilow or call Caudwell Children on 01782 600435.