Menu Search

& events

Runner takes on marathon in memory of sister
Runner takes on marathon in memory of sister

Hft Press Releases

Runner takes on marathon in memory of sister

Published: 13/04/17

A personal trainer from Oxford is preparing to run his first ever London Marathon in memory of his sister, who passed away suddenly last year.

Sam Vaughan, 34, from Didcot, will be taking on the gruelling 26 mile course to raise money for the national learning disabilities charity, Hft, where his sister, Emma Vaughan-Jones, worked for several years. 

Emma was a much-loved member of Hft’s Personalised Technology team, training staff in technology-based solutions to enhance people’s lives and build their independence. 

The 34 year old personal trainer will be running on the day with close family friend Jonathan Edwards, 36, from Peterborough in Cambridge. Together the pair has already raised over £1,500, but are aiming to reach £5000 to support Hft’s personalised technology projects.

With only a few weeks to go until race day on 23 April, Sam is well into his training regime and is looking forward to the big day. Spurred on by the support of his family and clients, he said he draws encouragement from the knowledge that his big sister would have been immensely proud of his efforts.

“Before she passed, Emma encouraged me a few times to do a marathon,” said Sam. “She told me, no matter whether it is London or Southampton, she was certain I’d smash it. She would be over the moon to hear that I’m doing this race.  I’ve chosen to raise money for Hft because it’s a charity that my amazing sister loved and always had immense pride in working for.”

Locally the charity offers person-centred services to over 100 people across Oxfordshire, ranging from daily activity sessions to supported living at home.  Hft also helps people with learning disabilities in a variety of other ways, from finding meaningful employment, to leading an active social life and making their voices heard, so they can live with greater levels of independence and personal fulfilment.

Sam said he is also keen to support Hft having seen first-hand the work of the charity.

“Hft is around the corner from where I live, over the years I’ve heard good things about the work done there. My cousin Lucile is supported by Hft and I saw what a huge difference it made and how it fulfilled her life, mainly by increasing her independence and helping her get a job. But ultimately I’m doing this in memory of Emma,” he said.

Sam and Jonathan are among 15 runners who will taking part in this year’s London Marathon which is hoped to raise a total of £26,250 for the cause.

If you would like to sponsor Sam please visit:

Sam in training gear

Notes to editors

For further information please contact: Suzanne Fry, PR & Media Manager, on 0117 906 1755 or For media enquiries outside of office hours please call 0117 906 1697

About Hft

Hft is a national charity supporting more than 2,500 adults with learning disabilities across England to live the best life possible. Established in 1962, the charity uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, person-centered support across all its services. 

Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.

For more information about Hft please visit

Information about learning disabilities

A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to:

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learn new skills
  • Live independently

Subject: Events
Location: Hft North Oxfordshire & Vale

About us

Where we started, how we're run and our future plans.