Dordogne villager's marathon effort for Mencap

Tracey Graham, right, and her sister Les Wilkinson are in marathon training

Tracey Graham is starting 2020 with a special New Year’s resolution to train for the London Marathon in April

A UK charity is being given a helping hand by a French village that is keen to help publicise the issue of people with learning difficulties.

Tracey Graham, from Saint-Martin-de-Gurson, Dordogne, is starting 2020 with a special New Year’s resolution to train for the London Marathon in April.

She will run with her sister Les Wilkinson to raise money for Mencap, the charity for those with learning disabilities. Her daughter Stephanie, 26, has learning difficulties.

Mrs Graham, her husband Rob, son Will and Stephanie have lived in France since 2004 and know at first hand the value of support from charities such as Mencap.

“People with a learning disability face inequalities in every area of life,” said Mrs Graham. “They face barriers finding suitable education, jobs and accessingactivities in their local community.”

Read more (subscriber article): Life in France for children with learning difficulties

She is organising other fund-raising events in her village and has been amazed at the support she has had from the local community to raise money for a UK charity.

In November, she held a dinner dance in a salle des fêtes, which was loaned to her free. Local companies donated wine, the catering company provided the meal at cost price and a band performed at a reduced price. She hopes to bring in more money by running a pub quiz with fish and chips, and said: “Our French friends and neighbours love to come to anything typically British.”

To support the appeal, visit Mrs Graham’s Virgin Money Giving page – Just Two Sisters

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