Charity staff go the extra mile (or 26!) to support people with tinnitus

British Tinnitus Association staff members Colette Bunker, Angela Pollard and Jess Pollard will be completing their first ever marathon on 3 October as they take on the Virgin Money Virtual London Marathon for the charity they work for. The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) is dedicated to supporting people living with tinnitus, a debilitating condition that affects 1 in 8 adults in the UK.

Jess (25) shared: “I was 13 when I remember experiencing tinnitus for the first time after going to a party. I was lucky that it faded away the next day. I still experience tinnitus occasionally, but it comes and goes and is mainly at night when I’m particularly stressed. However, for many people it is constant. It is there 24/7, which can be very intrusive and debilitating.”

She added: “As the Fundraising Officer at the BTA, I work with dedicated fundraisers who are always going the extra mile to complete fundraising challenges whilst juggling work, studies and personal life. So, when we were lucky to secure 10 places for the virtual London Marathon this year, I thought ‘why not?!’ We’re now eight weeks into training and I know this will be a huge challenge but raising awareness and funds for tinnitus research and support is vital!”

Angela (55) is the Membership Administrator for the BTA and has first-hand experience of living with tinnitus. “The furthest I’ve ever run is a half marathon four years ago, and at the time I couldn’t have imagined running double the distance so this will be a tough one, but this vital cause will give me all the motivation I need. There is still so much that is unknown about tinnitus, and research in this area is massively underfunded. At the BTA we continue to fund and push for more research whilst offering support and advice right now when it is needed.”

The British Tinnitus Association’s vision is “A world where no one suffers from tinnitus” which Colette, Angela and Jess are passionate about. As Head of Services for the BTA, Colette’s work focuses on developing services that improve the lives of people with tinnitus through information, advice, emotional support and peer support.

Colette (34) shared, “As Head of Services, I work closely with our helpline, support groups, events, and workshops. Every day I see first-hand how our services change people’s lives for the better so I’m taking part in the Virtual London Marathon to help us continue to deliver them and reach even more people. A motivation I need to keep reminding myself of throughout the pain of training! I’ve never run anywhere near marathon distance before so this will be a huge challenge but one that I’m excited to take on to raise funds for such a fantastic cause.”

Please help Colette, Angela and Jess reach their goal of £1,500 by donating at justgiving.com/team/btavirtuallondonmarathon, or email fundraising@tinnitus.org.uk take part in your own challenge.