The Best Beginnings Team for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2018 met for the first time in person at the House of Lords for afternoon tea on 17th January 2018. This was a great opportunity for all members to get to know and motivate one another. It was generously hosted by the Earl of Listowel, a long-time friend and patron of Best Beginnings. After the event, Soumo Gosh, Best Beginnings London Marathon Coordinator, shared his thoughts:

The most inspiring part was having the runners tell us about their reason for choosing to support Best Beginnings. In that short space of time we bonded and really became more of a team and I overheard runners offering each other support and encouragement. It was an absolute privilege to take part in the event, not only for the exclusive setting but also to be at a table with such amazing people. I'm really excited to support them in any way I can all the way to the finish line. And hopefully they'll stay with us long after.

The London Marathon is a much valued fundraising opportunity for Best Beginnings as all funds increase our potential to reach our goals in raising awareness of the importance of maternal mental health by providing free, engaging resources to parents, such as our Baby Buddy app, influencing policy, and working with and training healthcare professionals and community champions to reach out to parents to show them how Baby Buddy can support them in their transition to parenthood and beyond.

Last year, we had a team of 18 runners in the Marathon which resulted in a great group of advocates and supporters for Best Beginnings - most of whom are still part of the Best Beginnings family.

Jon Salmon, who ran for Team BB and Heads Together last year got in touch with us a year on:

Deciding to run the London Marathon for Best Beginnings was truly a life changing moment and as you know the work you all do is saving lives. So, thank you and I look forward to continuing to support Best Beginnings this year. I have been able to secure my own place for Race to the Stones and every penny I raise will be coming your way."

Jon Salmon with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Steve Jackson.

This years Team Best Beginnings are all passionate about our purpose and have shared their own personal stories that connect with what we do.

As a mum of 4, I was lucky and had 4 great beginnings with my babies but on my new career path to become a Doula, I have seen others that haven't been so fortunate, struggling with their mental health issues and feeling desperate.

-Louise Bate

I'm running to support my wife's recovery from depression after child birth. My wife happens to be my biggest inspiration and my most encouraging champion. So it's time to talk about the mental health issues and depression.

-James Akinyemi

Please visit our fundraising page in order support the Best Beginnings London Marathon Team in 2018.

Our 2018 London Marathon Team with Best Beginnings staff, our host and trainer adviser (from left to right):

Back row:  Seb Orton, Kim Saha (trainer advicer),  Soumo Gosh (Best Beginnings London Marathon Coordinator), Clare Lyons Collins, Patricia West

Middle Row: Thomas Hedley, The Earl of Listowel (Host), Alistair Bates, Jeremy Itoje

Front Row: Shabira Papain(deputy CEO of Best Beginnings) Philly Campbell, Louise Bate, Manonmani Manoharan, James Akinyemi, Alison Baum (CEO and founder of Best Beginnings) and Janet Henry (Best Beginnings Fundraising Coordinator).