Anna's marathon effort for charity close to her heart

AN RGS past pupil is running the London Marathon to raise funds for a charity which supported her family after her brother was born with a rare neurological condition.

Anna Marley, who left RGS in 2019 to study chemistry at Loughborough University, says: “Growing up with a sibling with a learning disability has really highlighted the lack of activities and opportunities available and the need for equality within society.

“Jonathan has microcephaly, a rare neurological condition resulting in no speech and learning disabilities, alongside other limiting issues.”

Anna, 22, will be running the marathon in aid of Mencap, a charity supporting those with learning disabilities and their families and carers.

“As a family we have been supported by Mencap throughout Jonathan’s life, including receiving valuable information for my parents and events put on by the charity for support. This has been invaluable, and I want to give back to such an amazing cause.

“People with learning difficulties have so many amazing qualities which are sometimes suppressed due to lack of confidence.

“Jonathan has flourished in recent years, becoming a social butterfly, despite his challenging communication barriers. He never ceases to amaze us.”

During her time at RGS Anna - who is currently on a graduate accountancy scheme with the DHL supply chain, working towards her Chartered Institute of Management Accountants qualification - excelled as a competitive swimmer, winning national medals, and representing the North of England in the School Games.

But it was the cross-country races at RGS she used to dread which gave her a taste for running: “This is probably where my running ‘career’ began! I always thought I hated those cross-country races, but turns out, going off-piste, Forrest Gump mode in the rain is something I now quite enjoy!

“I have a very competitive nature and always have my next challenge lined up, so after graduating in 2022, I decided to make it my mission to run a marathon.

“I completed my first half marathon race in September 2023 at the Great North Run and thoroughly enjoyed it, so can’t wait to get to the start line in April, for such a fantastic cause.”

She hopes to raise £2,000: “As this cause is so close to my heart, I believe there is no greater motivator for me to get through all the rigorous training and ultimately complete the marathon on April 21st!”

 Mencap: Mencap London Marathon 2024 (

Anna at school, left