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SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity

Support SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity at the TCS London Marathon

Aaron Mclaughlin has completed the London Marathon three times – twice in-person and once virtually – in memory of his brother, Kirk Mclaughlin, a veteran who took his own life in 2017.

In 2019, when he first ran the London Marathon, Aaron set himself an ambitious fundraising target of £2,000 for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, which he exceeded thanks to generous donations from friends, family and the public. He then signed up to run the 2020 London Marathon for SSAFA again, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic the race was postponed.

Aaron said: "My brother served in the third battalion in the Parachute Regiment and completed tours of Afghanistan. He was my hero – I always looked up to him.

"Unfortunately, my brother suffered an injury during a jump, as well as mental health issues, and was medically discharged from the Army. He became depressed and struggled to find a purpose.

"SSAFA was there when he needed the help the most. The charity funded courses for him and helped him to buy furniture for his flat, including a bed and a cooker. The SSAFA team was really good to him.

"Before he took his own life, we'd talked about running the London Marathon together, but Kirk's injury meant that he wasn’t able to run. I knew then that I wanted to run the marathon for him."

Unfortunately, Kirk Mclaughlin took his own life on 21 November 2017 after a battle with mental health problems, including PTSD. Since then, Aaron has used running as a way of dealing with the loss of his brother.

"Running the marathon is just a little way of giving back to SSAFA. It is an amazing charity that helped my brother in his time of need. Without it, I wouldn't have had some of the precious time I shared with him."

By running the 2022 TCS London Marathon for SSAFA, you will be helping to support serving personnel, veterans and their families when they need it most. To join the SSAFA team, click here.