A former Royal Marine and Harrogate dad-of-two is putting his ‘body on the line’ in a bid to raise £30,000 for Help For Heroes, as he marks his 30th birthday.
Steve Bannister, 30, was a Royal Marines reservist for six and a half years, but today he is the owner of a successful Harrogate business and a dad to a little boy and girl.
Last month, Steve marked his 30th birthday and decided that this year would be an opportunity to use the milestone for a good cause.
He said: “I just thought, I’ve turned 30-years-old, everyone always bangs on about why its such a big milestone, in my head I never really thought it was, but then I thought I can use this as an opportunity.
“Between September just gone and October next year, I’m going to be raising £30k for Help
For Heroes, and that’s going to see me doing a minimum of two races or events every month.”
Branded by Steve as the Run For 30 Campaign, the year-long fundraiser will see him take on five marathons, five triathlons and four 10k runs in the list of 25 events.
Steve said: “March, June and September next year are particularly rank because I am doing about five things - so it is literally either two things one weekend or weekends back to back.”
Some of the events are even qualifiers for British triathlons, and Steve is hopeful he will be able to qualify for Great Britain in his age group.
But the events won’t always be here in the UK - Steve will be doing the Paris and Berlin Marathons, and completing an Iron Man in Sweden.
Steve hopes to do all of this, and continue full responsibilities at his day job as the owner of The Fitness Rooms at the White Hart Hotel.
The Run For 30 campaign comes at the same time that communities across the UK are marking the centenary anniversary of the end of the First World War.
And it is Steve’s military background that has led him to take on the challenge of raising thousands of pounds to help our former troops.
He explained: “The reason I am putting my body on the line - I am going to hurt and I am probably going to cry at times, is down to everything I’m trying to do for the charity.
He added: “I have, unfortunately, witnessed first hand the types of people that have been left needing support from Help for Heroes.
“Fortunately for me, I have never needed or requested the intervention from Help for Heroes, whether that is the mental side, from PTSD or the physical side of being an amputee, but as a Troop Commander, I have dealt with some of my own soldiers who have had to have that intervention and who have hugely suffered.
Steve continued: “One of my good family friends was ex-army and when he came out he worked for a charity called Combat Stress.
“Some of the stories he would come out with when he had been to visit veterens were utterly shocking.
“Nobody should be living like that in this day and age.”
So far, Steve has completed five of the events he has set for himself and, incredibly, has already raised over £12,000.
He said: “We are almost at the halfway point which is getting quite exciting. I am confident we could raise even more than £30,000.”
But Steve is keen to make sure that every penny of sponsorship goes to Help For Heroes.
He said: “I’m paying for all my own entries in the events, my own travel and other expenses.
“I’ll probably spend, in my own money, around £5,000.
“I just don’t believe in raising £30,000 or for people to sponsor me knowing full well that the sponsorship might pay for me to go and do another race.”
And anyone who helps him along the way is sure to be recognised for their support.
Steve explained: “In The Fitness Rooms we have a feature wall which we are making into a wall of patrons.”
Any individual who sponsors Steve £30 or more and any company who sponsors £500 or more will have their name on a vinyl brick on the wall.
But all this hard work will not be without reward for Steve, who is throwing a black tie charity dinner at Rudding Park on October 18, 2019, to mark the very end of Run For 30 and to raise a final burst of cash.
Text ‘SBHH68’ followed by £5 or £10 to 70070 to donate or click here to visit Steve's Just Giving Page
If you are a business and you are interested in contacting Steve about corporate sponsorship, call him on 07966788491.