Turkey-trotting Houghton teachers ready to remember James

TROT: Teachers from Burnside Primary school wil be doing the Turkey Trot for St Benedicts Hospice.
TROT: Teachers from Burnside Primary school wil be doing the Turkey Trot for St Benedicts Hospice.
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A MUM who lost her son to cancer has inspired colleagues to fund-raise for the hospice which cared for him.

School secretary Dorothy Turnbull and teachers from Burnside Primary, in Houghton, will take part in the city’s first Turkey Trot to raise vital funds for St Benedict’s Hospice.

Dorothy Turnbull of Sunderland Road, Newbottle, with a photo of her late son James.

Dorothy Turnbull of Sunderland Road, Newbottle, with a photo of her late son James.

They will don turkey costumes for the fund-raiser which they are doing in memory of Dorothy’s son, James Turnbull, who died, aged 21, from a rare and aggressive form of cell cancer last year.

The popular Wearside biker underwent gruelling and painful treatment in a bid to combat the disease and spent some of his time at the hospice in Newcastle Road, Sunderland.

Dorothy, from Newbottle, said: “This is for James, in his name. That’s why I want to do this fun run so much.

“We have done fund-raising in the past for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Willow Foundation Trust, but when the leaflet arrived for the Turkey Trot I realised we hadn’t done anything for the hospice yet.

“James was only there for a couple of days but they were so good with him and us. “

“I told the other staff and headteacher about the fun run and they wanted to support it too. It’s such a worthwhile cause.”

It’s hoped about 500 people will take part in the first ever Turkey Trot, which takes place at Nissan Sports and Social Club, Usworth, on December 11.

The 2km event is being staged to raise funds for the day-to-day running of the hospice.

Fund-raiser Sylvia Stoneham said: “We thought it would be fun to do something that’s different to other charities. Santa runs are quite popular and we were going to do a chicken run at Easter, but we couldn’t get the costumes in time.

“Then someone suggested a turkey trot.”

Sylvia, who’s already tried on the festive fancy dress, said: “It certainly looks different. It was funny wearing it on my own in the summer, but when there’s 499 other people wearing them it won’t feel so silly.

“They’re not the easiest of things to run fast in, but this is very much a fun run, not a race. People can just walk it or push pushchairs. It’s an event for all the family.”

The cost to enter the event is £20 which includes your turkey costume. Kids who want to take part can do so for £5 and will receive a cut-and-colour turkey mask and ideas on how to make their own costumes.

* For entry forms, contact the fund-raising office, click here or email sylvia.stoneham@sotw.nhs.uk

Twitter: @SunechoKaty