I think most people in the UK will remember the rioting and looting that took place across London and the UK in August 2011. Riots saw widespread looting and buildings set alight, with a number of people affected and significant losses to property, as well as individual attacks on members of the public.
I was one of the unfortunate ones that got caught up in the disorder – my journey from work took me through Lewisham, south London. There I ended up being stopped at a made up road block by the rioters and was forced to abandon my car and all my possessions. I was luckier than many others as I came to no physical harm – I only lost my car, mobile phone, laptop and wallet – all material items that can be replaced.
Afterwards I started to think about what I could have done different and how lucky I was to be physically unharmed. But I also thought about what would happen next, would the police be able to arrest and charge everyone involved?
So I decided to turn a negative experience into something positive, and decided that one way I could do this would be to find a way to help fight crime. This is how I came across the Charity Crimestoppers, and the way I ended up supporting the organisation was by signing up to run the London Marathon in 2012.
This was a huge challenge in itself, as at the time of signing up, I could barely run two miles. Twenty years before I had run a half marathon, but this was a different challenge. I went into a six month training regime aiming to get round the course, never mind the time. I managed my first ever marathon in five hours 25 minutes, which I was really pleased with. But I was even more pleased after pledging to raise £3,000 for Crimestoppers, I actually managed to raise a total of £3,340.01 including Gift Aid.
I have continued to support Crimestoppers, not least by running the 2013 London Marathon and raising over £2,000 for the charity – while I continue to be an avid supporter, not least using social media.
More importantly I will again in 2015 run the London Marathon in support of Crimestoppers with a view to raise further important funds for them. You can support me by donating via my fundraising page https://www.justgiving.com/PeterRomanov.