From trouble-shooting The Sussex Beacon’s IT issues to sponsoring and running with Team Beacon in The Grand Brighton Half Marathon – Andrew Buchan, IT Architect and Director at Glencairn Consulting Ltd, goes above and beyond the expectations of a charity supporter. Always on hand to assist The Sussex Beacon, a Brighton-based charity offering specialist care and support for people living with HIV, with its inhouse computer systems on an exclusively voluntary basis, Andrew has become the charity’s go-to person, which he does in addition to his own full-time consultancy work. How does it all fit into a normal working day? “I like to be busy, I’m not good at sitting down and doing nothing”, he laughs when asked about his impressive multi-tasking skills.
Sponsorship support and The Grand Brighton Half Marathon
As if volunteering his time was not enough, Andrew is also one of the charity’s biggest sponsors. Since 2017, he has funded the Halloween Fun Run in Brighton, as well as last year’s Panto at the Brighton Metropole Hotel. Andrew also sponsors ‘Team Beacon’, The Sussex Beacon’s dedicated team of ever-growing runners, who raise important funds and represent the charity in The Grand Brighton Half Marathon. A regular runner himself, Andrew has been racing for The Sussex Beacon for four years, achieving his own personal best of 01:59 in February 2016. “I was running with a friend that day who was trying to beat her time of 02:15, and we ran the course together until we reached the final roundabout at Madeira Drive where I saw the time and shouted out that it was time to sprint”, he says. His friend had run out of steam at that point, but Andrew managed to complete the race in just under two hours. His passion for the sport takes him to running events all over the country, where he proudly wears his ‘Team Beacon’ running vest “to raise awareness and support The Sussex Beacon as much as I can”, he says.
There are no plans to hang up his running shoes anytime soon, as Andrew is already looking ahead to the next half marathon in 2019. “To me, running is a social thing, and team spirit is part of it”, he adds. With 135 Team Beacon runners taking part in the event this year alone, the team spirit shines through before, during and after the race. All of the charity’s runners including their family and friends are invited to the Team Beacon marquee on race day, where complimentary food and drink is available and runners have a chance to meet one another. This year, a group of Team Beacon runners including Andrew ran the race together, which was a valuable opportunity for the charity to highlight its presence in the race and raise awareness of its cause.
New running ideas for Team Beacon
The Sussex Beacon is currently exploring new ways for Team Beacon runners to stay connected throughout the year. The Challenge Events Team is considering various possibilities, which could include regular training runs and meet ups that the supporters can enjoy together. For Andrew, sponsoring Team Beacon and representing the charity in the race is part of the bigger picture. “A lot of people want to volunteer and are able to help by giving their time – I can help behind the scenes, which helps in different ways but still makes a difference”, he says modestly. One thing is clear: The Sussex Beacon is extremely fortunate to have Andrew’s invaluable support, which has and will continue to bring significant benefits to the charity.