Blackpool marathon runner Jake keen to repay armed forces charity

Blackpool man Jake Thornton will be especially well motivated when he raises money for his big London Marathon challenge this year.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 11:45 am
Ex-serviceman Jake Thornton will be running London Marathon for a cause close to his heart

.Jake, 27, of Preston New Road, Marton, is looking to raise £2,000 for SSAFA - the Armed Forces charity (formerly Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association). The charity, which supports existing service members, veterans and their families when they are most in need, is particularly close to Jake’s heart.

Not only is he a former soldier, but he experienced the heartbreak of losing his brother Lee when he was killed in Iraq in 2006.

Jake, who was a gunner with 47 The Royal Artillery for six years until 2016, said the charity was there for his family at its lowest point.

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Jake Thornton is now training for the London Marathon

The married father-of-one, now a refrigeration engineer with the Co-op, said; “This charity really helped us through some tough times when Lee was killed and I wanted to give

something back.

“It looks after ex-service people who are homeless. It is there when families are grieving. It is brilliant.

“I’m already in training for the marathon and I want to get a good time, but the main thing is raising the £2,000 and I just want to get the message out there.”

Lee, who was also a gunner, was killed in September 2006 on his second tour of duty while serving with 58 (Eyre’s) Battery, 12th Regiment Royal Artillery.

He died from a single gunshot wound while on patrol in the town of Al Qurna, which is north of Basra.

SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity, formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, is a UK charity that provides lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families or dependents.

It can help with mental wellbeing, welfare and benefits, disability support and also provides assistance to older veterans.

The charity has a long track record of support, having been founded as far back as 1885 by Sir James Gildea, a British Army Militia officer who served with an ambulance unit in the Franco-Prussian war

There is a support line on 0800 731 4880

Jake will run the London Marathon on Sunday, April 26.

To support his fundraising effort by donating, visit