Why Kudos CEO Diederick Santer is running the London Marathon for Coram

  • 29 November 2016

“It’s an honour running for Coram! Having adopted our amazing younger daughter through Coram, I’m thrilled to being able to help another child find their family, like Lucy found us. 

Diederick Santer, CEO of Kudos, ready to run for Coram

Our adoption journey began when, having one lovely daughter, we began to hope for a bigger family.  When that didn’t happen, our thoughts turned to adoption.  

Living nearby to Coram, we were aware of their national reputation of being at the forefront of best practice in adoption.  Coram social workers are in touch with the social workers of children looking for families all over the UK, so are well-placed to make the perfect match between a child and a family.  We liked the social workers and other Coram people as soon as we walked through the door, and the support through the process and the promise of ‘aftercare’ was very important too. We adopted Lucy two-and-a-half years ago, when she was 4.  Now she’s 7. She started after a few weeks at the same school as her big sister, so fitted right into the family.

We were experienced parents, but novices in adoption. We didn’t really know what to expect, and we had to make sure that the process worked for Lucy, but also for ourselves and for our older daughter Holly.  Through Coram, we developed a close relationship with our social worker Rachel and she was able to support us through every aspect of the process – practical and emotional. It was so helpful to be steered through it by someone who had worked with so many families before and was so perceptive about the needs of the child and challenges which adoptive families face – Rachel was brilliant at bringing it all together.

We maintain a close relationship with Coram and went to a class about Life Story work a few weeks ago.  As children get older the questions they ask become more complex, and so must become the answers you give them. It’s important that we find a way to explain Lucy’s story to her now that makes sense to her now, but that can evolve and deepen as she gets older.  It was great to think about this with a group of other adoptive parents and Coram social workers.

Training for the marathon is fun. Despite some injury problems when I began running, I absolutely love it and have started doing 10k races and half marathons, and now want to do something bigger. I run early in the morning before any of the family wake up, which at this time of the year means running in total darkness, which is a bit weird.  Travelling for work means I’ve had some lovely runs in various climates and terrains.  Recent highlights have included the Undercliff near Seaton in Devon, the Croisette in Cannes on the French Riviera, and along the Bow River in Calgary, Canada.  

Lucy is a gifted runner!  The other day we ran three miles around the park, stopping only for the odd sip of water.  I bought her her first running shoes at the weekend. Myself and some work colleagues ran a shorter race for Coram earlier in the year, and that was rewarding.  Now for the big one!”


If you’re inspired by Diederick’s story and want to take on the London Marathon as part of Team Coram, we still have spaces left! Click here for more information: