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TBM’s Marie runs London Marathon in Exeter for local charity

Exeter CITY Community Trust logo

TBM’s Marie runs London Marathon in Exeter for local charity

I’m not a runner. Never have been. Having been swept along by the atmosphere while watching the 2019 London Marathon in my dressing gown (an annual occurrence) I entered… and in the October learned that I had got in.

Securing a ballot place meant that I was able to choose my own charity, but which one?


I used social media to invite charity nominations with simple criteria: help as many people as possible over as broad a range of needs as I could. I discovered a suitable charity right on my doorstep but didn’t really know anything about them.


My mission is now to raise funds and awareness for the Exeter CITY Community Trust, the charity arm of our very own Exeter City Football Club.


Their aim, through the power of sport, education and physical activity, is to provide opportunities for all people to improve physical and emotional wellbeing. They work with anyone who is living with physical or mental disabilities, at risk of social isolation, or being left behind by technology; ex-forces and emergency services, LGBT+ and young and old people.

They run football clubs for youngsters, support the homeless and provide team building skills opportunities for students. Did you know that the supermarket shelf labels for foodbanks came from one of ECCT’s National Citizen Service student groups?

At the girls’ football summer camps, participants get the chance to train with Exeter City FC coaches, improve skills and develop new ones.

Marie's charity ECCT girls football camp
ECCT girls football camp

Every two years ECCT selects a number of charity partners and this year’s homelessness charity is Julian House. They work to solve and prevent homelessness across the whole of the South West.

Not all about football then?

A lot of it is about football but you don’t even have to like football to be one of the 10s of thousands of Exonians that benefit (some without even knowing) from the amazing work that ECCT do.

So what’s happening with the London Marathon now?

After first being postponed until Sunday 4th October, this year’s London Marathon has now been transformed into a virtual race, on that date.

That means we download the new app and upload our real world completion data from there. 

I’ve trained for this twice now! This is me just before the Falmouth Half Marathon in March, one of the last mass participation events before lockdown. My half marathon this time took place on the cycle path along the River Exe, a stretch from St Davids towards the Turf Locks.

Where am I running my Virtual London Marathon?

I’m starting opposite the Exeter Community Centre on St Davids Hill at around 7am on Sunday 4th October.

From there I’ll make my way along the Iron Bridge, North Street, South Street and on to Holloway Street and Topsham Road. I’ll be walking up the hills as I need my dodgy knees to last the rest of the 26.2 miles!

Once across Countess Wear roundabout (that’s 2.6 miles down, 23.6 to go!) I’ll continue to Topsham Quay Antiques Centre and back to the roundabout, as many times as it takes me to cover the distance. By Google Maps it’s only 3.8 miles there and back to the roundabout but I do cross the road a couple of times and do a loop at the Antiques Centre ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ll need to cover that 6 times and then head back towards the city centre… I should complete the marathon distance somewhere around the new Millbrook Village!

Marie's turnaround point near Countess Wear roundabout
My turnaround point, at the road sign (red circle)

Sounds simple!

I’m not quick. I reckon I’ll do it in under 6 hours. If you’re local, why not join me for a bit or watch out for me along the way? I’d really appreciate a spot of moral support! ๐Ÿ˜Š

If you’re running your marathon in Exeter on that day too, you are warmly invited to join us on the route! ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ

Please share this message and donate to this fantastic cause.
My Virgin Money Giving page:

In case you’re still not sure why, check out this short video about Exeter CITY Community Trust: and scroll down a little way to the video.

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Thank you for a fantastic week!

Social distancing measures: sanitising station and floor flow markings

Thank you for a fantastic week!

Shop front with Open artwork by Gus
Shop front with Open artwork by Gus

Ushering in the New Era

We opened our shop to the general public for the first time in months, on Monday 15th June. We had spent weeks pouring over government guidance and WHO recommendations; glued ourselves to Downing Street Briefings and we’d read everything sent to us by email, from local BID, council and national bodies alike; filled in forms and hung up the appropriate posters.

I think we’ve got it about right, until the recommendations are changed again, but that will be for another day!

Social distancing measures: sanitising station and floor flow markings
Social distancing measures: sanitising station and floor flow markings

We have a barricade down the centre of the shop floor, creating a one-way system that is separated from the second side. We have bright yellow floor tape marking both the direction of flow and the 2 metre intervals right across the floor. There is a hand sanitising station on the door and we are encouraging the use of face coverings but it’s not compulsory at this stage. I expect it will be soon!

We have disinfectant sprays for the surfaces. We’re keeping the socks in their plastic packaging so they can be wiped if necessary, and any belts that are tried on are being labelled and placed in the back room until their 72 hour quarantine is up.

Payment roundel floor sticker
Payment roundel floor sticker

Everyone waited politely on the little roundel (that’s two metres away from the till) to pay by card so, all-in-all, I think any uncertainty we had over whether or not we were doing all the right things, or whether we had missed anything, was put at rest.

Shopping for fun? I think I remember…

I do think it will take a while for people to get the hang of shopping for pleasure again, but by Saturday we had new window artwork by one of our Saturday staff, Gus, and there was music playing from the bar doing takeaway service a few doors down from us; the good old Fore Street atmosphere was well and truly dusted off and back where it should be!

We have been beautifully looked after by both regular and new customers alike and it is so appreciated, thank you.

We are so pleased to be able to bring such a lovely range of products to the Fore Street marketplace and this has been made partly possible by having the new website up and running so smoothly, so quickly. I need to give a massive shout out to Aaron from Takeoff Development for all his help and advice; if you need a website get straight on to him!

Do it your way

Remember, there are so many ways to shop with us. You can browse the website before popping in to the shop and you can try on a tester belt for size before you buy. You can order online for delivery, or for contactless collection: just let us know when’s best for you.

You can also book a private appointment for you and your household or social bubble. Pick your preferred contact option to book, or use your favourite social media and find us via #TBMandFriends.

Thank you for supporting our independent family business… see you soon!