On their marks to raising £28k

Members of Wallsend Harriers hand over their cheque to St Oswald's Hospice.
Members of Wallsend Harriers hand over their cheque to St Oswald's Hospice.

Runners found a relay good way to raise funds for a charity close to their hearts.

Wallsend Harriers & Athletics Club took part in a three day relay running challenge from Edinburgh Castle to Tynemouth in aid of St Oswald’s Hospice, raising £28,000.

A total of 18 members completed the challenge in memory of Linda Todd, the wife of former club runner Bill, who received end of life care at the hospice in 2008.

Bill, 62, said: “The hospice was amazing – they didn’t just look after Linda, but the whole family as well. Money was collected at her funeral, which was the start of the Linda Todd Fund and has then been built on each year by the Harriers’ Toby Runs.

“We did the first Toby Run six months after my wife died. I wanted to throw myself back into the sport and coming back to the club was like therapy.

“I’m delighted the Harriers are continuing to raise money for St Oswald’s.”

Former Wallsend Harriers member, Gerald Lee said: “Gareth Huxley and myself set up Wallsend Harriers’ charity connection as we are all able bodied and obsessed about personal bests and wanted to direct that energy into putting something back into the community.

“Even though we don’t run for the Harriers anymore, we’re chuffed to bits that they’re still going. It just proves that St Oswald’s is a great cause.

“The successful of the event is down to the dedication of the runners who over the years have given up their free time in order to raise money for such a worthy cause.

“It’s a credit to the club and the runners that together we have raised this money.

“As such I would like to say a big thank you to them in recognising and continuing the works that Gareth and I set in motion. Long may this charity fund raising event continue.”

St Oswald’s fundraiser Natalie Santamera said: “The Wallsend Harriers have been phenomenal supporters over the years and have raised an immense amount of money for us.

“The Hospice needs to raise over £7m each year in voluntary giving to continue to provide its services, so their annual Toby runs make a huge difference. We can’t thank them enough.”