A Milton Keynes man is taking part in the 20th NSPCC Half Marathon & 10K in a bid to help make the internet safer for children.
Richard Goss, 48, said NSPCC services and campaigns that help keep children safe online encouraged him to fundraise for the child protection charity, including its #WildWestWeb campaign.
After beginning running less than a year ago, losing two and a half stone in the process, he is now well on his way to running the 10K race in September.
Richard said: “Technology and the internet means there are many ways abuse and exploitation can occur. Children don’t have to be in the same room as an abuser to be hurt by them, and it’s shocking.
“So, when I read up about the NSPCC’s Wild West Web campaign for a mandatory code to regulate social networks so that grooming can be prevented, I thought that was absolutely spot on.
“Social media websites should be regulated so that children and young people are protected from abusers. The NSPCC is leading the call for mandatory regulation and greater accountability for these sites and platforms, and I am really happy to be supporting this great charity.”
The security expert said that enduring a difficult childhood also compelled him to help the NSPCC.
He said: “As a child, I suffered a lot of psychological abuse and bullying, and I know first-hand how that can follow you into adulthood.
“I’ve gone through much of my life battling low self-worth and never feeling good enough – there’s always that voice in your head saying: ‘You don’t deserve this’.
“The work the NSPCC does helping children from all walks of life is so valuable – the number of young people they support who are in really awful situations makes fundraising for the charity so worthwhile.”
Richard is running as part of the popular NSPCC Milton Keynes Half Marathon & 10K, which is now in its 20th year.
Owing to the increased popularity of the of the event new course has been mapped out, starting at The National Bowl on Saturday September 29.
Jacqui Venters, NSPCC, Community Fundraising Manager for Buckinghamshire, said: “The 20th year of this fantastic family event is going bigger and better with a new course for runners to enjoy so why not sign up today?
“Whether you're a serious runner aiming for a new personal best or a fun runner wanting to raise as much as you can to support the NSPCC’s work with vulnerable children, this race has something for everyone.”
Richard is aiming to raise £700 for the NSPCC. To donate to his JustGiving page and help the NSPCC, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/richardjgoss
The Milton Keynes Half Marathon and 10K are taking place on Saturday, September 29.
There are still places to sign up for the race with the NSPCC. Find out more at mkhalfmarathon.org
For information and tips about helping your children stay safe online visit the NSPCC and O2’s Net-Aware site at www.net-aware.org.uk
Children suffering from bullying, emotional abuse or seeking help and advice about any issue affecting them can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk