Focus: Fundraising - Me and my charity

Mike Adlam, chairman of the Williams Syndrome Foundation, vowed to help Addaction after a chance meeting with former chief executive Peter Martin. This year, he ran the Flora London Marathon for the charity and raised £5,000.

How did you first get involved with Addaction?

I met Peter Martin at an awards ceremony in 1998 and we got chatting.

He told me about his association with Addaction and invited me to come and see what the charity involves.

I was really impressed, and full of admiration for the people who work for the charity.

Are you involved in any other charities?

I am the chairman of a charity called the Williams Syndrome Foundation, which provides support to those with the disorder and their families.

It's a rare, non-hereditary syndrome that can affect brain development and cause some physical problems.

I help to raise about £100,000 for the charity every year, but we can use all sorts of nice images to help raise funds.

When I first visited Addaction, it struck me how difficult it must be to raise funds for something that is still considered socially unacceptable in many circles. So I promised Peter that I would one day raise some money for the charity.

How did you raise money for Addaction?

I kept in touch with Peter over the years and finally decided this year to run my first London Marathon, at the age of 55 - and I decided to do it for Addaction.

I try not to get stuck in one cause and don't want to spend my life just raising money for the Williams Syndrome Foundation, so I try to spread myself around.

Everyone in the Cotswolds village where I live knows me, and some of them decided to put on a play, which raised £1,000.

It was called Run Mike, Run and told the story of me getting lost on a very long training run.

I also set up a website, www.justgiving.com.

Running the marathon was an amazing experience and I plan to do it for Addaction again next year.

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