Suffolk granddad to run London Marathon in NSPCC’s ‘Pantosaurus’ costume

Steve Paul as Pantosaurus. Picture: NSPCC

Steve Paul as Pantosaurus. Picture: NSPCC - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk RAF veteran is to run the London Marathon dressed as a pants wearing dinosaur to raise awareness of child sexual abuse.

Steve Paul, a grandfather from Ipswich, will run the 26 miles on Sunday, April 22, wearing the “Pantosaurus” costume - the NSPCC’s cartoon dinosaur used to explain consent to children.

Mr Paul hopes it will support the charity’s Talk PANTS campaign to help parents talk about sexual abuse to children in an age-appropriate way.

Pantosaurus, is central to the campaign, telling children the rules “Privates are private, Always remember your body belongs to you, No means no, Talk about secrets that upset you and Speak up – someone can help.”

Mr Paul, a personal trainer, will raise money for the NSPCC to deliver services such as its Speak Out Stay Safe scheme, which he has taken around Suffolk schools as one of the charity’s volunteers.

He has been a runner for 38 years and has also sailed single-handedly around the UK, but believes running the marathon in a dinosaur costume could be an equally difficult challenge.

“It’s going to be very hot as it’s a thick suit, with the head attached to a cycle helmet,” he said. “But even if I have to walk or crawl the 26 miles it will be worth it because I’m sure I’ll get some incredible engagement with children who will learn a bit more about Pantosaurus. It is a privilege to be running as Pantosaurus for the NSPCC, volunteering with the Schools Service is fantastic and by raising awareness of the PANTS rule we can help prevent abuse and protect more children across Suffolk and the UK.”

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Katy Cole, of the NSPCC added: “By volunteering for the NSPCC’s Speak Out Stay Safe service Steve is helping to both prevent abuse and ensure children know who to talk to about any concerns they have, whether that’s to a trusted adult or Childline. It’s brilliant that he’s also promoting the PANTS campaign, which gives parents the resources to hold that important conversation about sexual abuse in a fun and engaging way without even having to mention sexual abuse. Volunteers and fundraisers like Steve are so important to work of the NSPCC and I wish him the best of luck for the marathon, but most of all hope he enjoys every minute of it.”

Visit the NSPCC’s website for more about the campaign and to donate.