A North Tyneside dad is tackling his seventh Great North Run this weekend, in support of the premature and newborn baby charity, Tiny Lives.
Kevin Brown, from North Shields, has dedicated the past seven years to raising money for the organisation, which supports premature and sick newborn babies and their families on the neonatal unit at Newcastle’s RVI Hospital.
Over this time, he has fund-raised and donated £22,300 to the charity – and is aiming to raise a further £2,700 by the end of the year.
Kevin, 34, a bus driver with Go North East, will be lining up with more than 57,000 runners in the UK’s biggest half-marathon on Sunday.
Based at Go North East’s Percy Main depot, Kevin, who is married to Emma and has a seven-year-old daughter, Leah, said: “I completed my first Great North Run seven years ago with a friend, who knew a couple who had tragically lost one of their newborn twins at birth.
"The charity really helped the parents, and their story stuck in my heart.
"It started as a group fund-raising effort and I decided to keep going. I have run across the UK and America and held a variety of fund-raising events.
“I love knowing that I’m helping the charity, and everyone associated with them. It makes it all worthwhile. I’ve also taken my daughter to visit the unit at the hospital – she was blown away with all of their specialist equipment and seeing the small newborn babies.”
Kevin is one of a group of determined Go North East team members, who will be donning their trainers for the Great North Run.
Customer services advisor Neil Jones will be running on behalf of Tommy’s Charity, which investigates the reasons behind still births and miscarriages.
Neil, who hopes to raise £300, said: “This is my first Great North Run and I have never attempted it before because I’m a sprinter, rather than a long-distance runner. The change in discipline is hard to master but I am determined to do this to honour the memory of my baby.”
Finance director Paul Edwards will be doing his third Run, hoping to raise more than £250 for cancer charity Macmillan, and it will be the 12th time round for development manager Mark Ellis, aiming to raise £250 for the British Lung Foundation.