Runners tackle the Brighton half marathon in aid of local HIV charity The Sussex Beacon

189 runners took on the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon yesterday to raise money for local HIV charity and half marathon event organiser, The Sussex Beacon.

There has been an outpouring of local support since The Sussex Beacon announced in December it is facing the prospect of potentially closing services, following a reduction in the funding it receives from the NHS. As the charity tries to secure its future, funding from the half marathon is more vital than ever.

Among the runners on ‘Team Beacon’ was Adam Betteridge, a supporter who started a petition to Save the Sussex Beacon back in December. The petition has now gained over 10,000 signatures but Adam decided he also wanted to take on a more personal challenge and made the final decision to run the half marathon less than a week before the event! Unprepared but enthusiastic, he finished the course and raised much needed funds for The Sussex Beacon along the way.

Simon Dowe, Chief Executive at The Sussex Beacon said “I want to thank each and every one of the ‘Team Beacon’ runners who turned up yesterday and gave it their best. Individual fundraising is more crucial than ever for The Sussex Beacon at the moment and we’re incredibly grateful for the determination and effort put in by those involved. Huge thanks also go to the organisers, the volunteers and the supporters who came to spur the runners on. Race day is always a day of pride and passion and we saw both in spades yesterday.”

Other supporters of The Sussex Beacon also attended on the day. A cheque for £2,000 was presented to Chief Executive Simon Dowe by Michael Harris, Chair of the Sussex Masonic Charities. The £2,000 was from The Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex and is in addition to nearly £2,000 that has already been donated by the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

The Brighton half marathon was originally started by a small group of individuals in 1990 and the money raised from that very first race was used to help fund the building of The Sussex Beacon. Now in its 27th year, the race has grown in numbers and stature and it is now one of the largest running events in the South East.

To find out more about The Sussex Beacon please visit or email

Team Beacon Fundraiser of the Week

As the lead up to the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon 2017 begins, our Fundraiser of the Week blog returns to celebrate our Team Beacon runners who have gone that extra mile to support The Sussex Beacon, and share their inspiring stories.

David Cumming 1This weeks Fundraiser of the Week is… David Cumming! David is taking on the mighty Vitality Brighton Half Marathon 2017 to fundraise for The Sussex Beacon. David has already raised an astounding £455 for The Sussex Beacon via his JustGiving page and has helped raise awareness of the charity. We are so grateful to have such a dedicated new supporter.

Read his story below:

Why am I running for The Sussex Beacon?

I started off by picking a Charity based in Brighton, I really didn’t have any in mind, as I tend to support local charities.  When I Saw Sussex Beacon come up, I didn’t know anything about them at all – so looked further, and realised that HIV and related illnesses had disappeared from my view and that I’d heard and seen nothing in the news.  After a bit of reading, I saw that numbers of people living with HIV in the UK continues to rise – so felt that this was a good charity to get behind.

How am I fundraising?

So far I’ve been raising through Just Giving, and on the premise that I was really running for my own benefit (I love running) I would match people’s donations.  This got a little bit out of hand, so I stopped once I’d reached my target of £200, on last check I’m up to £455 – and with a month to go, I hope to get over the £500 mark.

The Vitality Brighton Half Marathon raises awareness of The Sussex Beacon and helps us to remind people that HIV is still a huge issue within the UK. We are delighted to have attracted new supporters like David, and we can’t thank him enough for his help and dedication to fundraising. We wish David the best of luck with his training and fundraising.

If you would like to donate to David’s JustGiving page and show him your support for his courageous challenge this month, you can do so here!