With a little help from my friends…

A caring team of colleagues from Stockton-based Mercury Wealth Management, a chartered financial planning firm, stepped in to help one of their own when he was injured on the eve of completing a gruelling, year-long charity run.

Associate financial planner Richard Berriman had dedicated himself to running 1,000 miles in 2020. With sponsorship in place at a pound a mile, that would mean a fantastic £1,000 for his chosen charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.

Richard, a casual runner, got off to a great start, clocking up an impressive 941 miles.

Beginning with runs in local beauty spots around his Eaglescliffe home, a focussed Richard soon progressed to stints on the beach and around Teesside lakes when weather permitted, taking in regional landmarks such as the Tees Barrage.

Running an average of 5k per day most days of the week, Richard was well on track to complete his fund-raiser and planned on a big finish at the end of December to mark the completion of his run and the end of the year.

Sadly, on Christmas Eve 2020, an injury to his foot left Richard unable to walk. With a hospital diagnosis of a stress fracture Richard had to use crutches and there was no way he could finish his fundraiser in time.

“I had a message from Richard on Christmas Eve. He was devastated when he received his injury,” said Mercury Wealth managing director Oliver Bourke.

“Everyone at the company had been so proud of his efforts and were 100 per cent behind him, so we all shared his devastation.”

“At Mercury Wealth, we pride ourselves on treating our team and clients as an extension of our family and Richard is one of our own. We knew we had to step in and do something to help.”

With the clock ticking, Oliver swiftly gathered the team and he and seven other colleagues agreed to finish the run on Richard’s behalf.

“We didn’t hesitate to step in and get Richard over the mark,” said Oliver. “It was the least we could do.”

The group ended up running a total of 71 miles between them, which, when added to Richard’s efforts, meant that they completed a total of 1,012 miles and raised £1,012 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Richard was over the moon with his colleagues’ efforts, as was Liz Airey, Macmillan fundraising manager, who said: “On behalf of Macmillan, I would like to say a huge thank you to Richard and Mercury Wealth for the amazing donation of £1,012.

“It’s only with support from people like Richard taking on such a difficult challenge that we can continue to be there to do whatever it takes for people living with cancer. This donation will enable Macmillan to fund a nurse for a further 61 hours which is incredible.”

Richard, who is now thankfully back on his feet, said: “Raising this money has meant so much. Oliver and my colleagues stepping in to help proves just how special Mercury Wealth and the team are.”

Our picture shows Richard Berriman (right) with Oliver Bourke. Picture by Chris Booth.