Clarkson’s Farm Star Cheerful Charlie is Running the Leeds Marathon on Sunday for MND

Charlie Ireland, better known as Cheerful Charlie of the Prime Video series Clarkson’s Farm (filmed on Diddly Squat Farm in Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire) is running his first Marathon this Sunday 14th May. On his dedicated Instagram page he shares his aim to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease research, on a personal mission with his dad diagnosed in 2008.

The inaugural Rob Burrows marathon is the first one in Leeds for 20 years, and was set up by former Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield OBE in support of his friend and team mate Rob Burrow who suffers with the debilitating disease.

Charlie joins 10’000 expected runners, all hoping to raise funds for research to help loved ones. The Land agent and agricultural advisor said:

I’m not sure I really thought this through for my first (and only) marathon – Leeds is horribly hilly it seems – but I am looking forward to the challenge. My Dad was diagnosed with MND in 2008 and the MND Association were amazing. Our family met some incredible people who showed so much warmth and kindness which made Dad’s life far easier. There is no known cure, but the funds raised will help families like ours to cope a little easier by getting the support they need from the MND Association. It will also enable further research into this terrible disease.

Charlie reveals on his Just Giving page his personal reasons for taking part in the event with the news his dad was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and how his “family received amazing support and advice and Dad given fantastic care from the wonderful teams supplied by MNDA.”

He goes on to say that “MND is a truly dreadful disease but the warmth and kindness of the people we met through the NHS and MNDA helped us all. With no cure and limited medical treatment options raising funds for MNDA will allow vital research into the disease as well as providing support for those who really need it.”

So far, his £10k target has been smashed with £14,654 being donated at the time of writing. But with your help even more can be raised.

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Who is “Cheerful” Charlie Ireland?

Charlie is Jeremy Clarkson’s land agent and advisor for his Diddly Squat Farm in Oxfordshire, which is the focus on the Amazon Prime show Clarkson’s Farm. Charlie’s role is to give advice on how to run the farm to the ex-Top-Gear host. This includes where to plant crops and the financial budget details. Due to his regular negative feedback on mistakes made and financial loss, the ironic nickname Cheerful Charlie was coined.

What is Motor Neurone Disease?

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurological condition that affects the nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord that help control movement and speech.

It causes these motor neurones to gradually degenerate and die, leading to muscle weakness and wasting, and eventually, paralysis. Symptoms may include muscle weakness and wasting, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, problems with balance and coordination, and difficulty with activities of daily living.

The MNDA report that MND affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time. There is a 1 in 300 risk of getting MND across a lifetime.

What work do the Motor Neurone Disease Association do?

The MNDA works to improve the lives of people affected by Motor Neurone Disease. They provide support, advice and information to people with the disease, their families and carers. They also crucially fund and promote research into the causes, diagnosis, treatment and care of Motor Neurone Disease.