A mum has joined with pals to tackle the gruelling Great North Run in memory of her son’s dad who died following a brave battle with illness.
Beth Iveson, 28, from Houghton, has signed up to complete the 13.1 mile challenge this Sunday with seven of her closest friends in aid of St Oswald’s Hospice, as a way to give back to the support she and her son Alfie received after his dad Richard died last year.
Richard, 33, passed away in June after a year-long battle with rare form of cancer Sarcoma.
After being referred to St Oswald’s for pre and post-bereavement support, Alfie now visits the hospice regularly for a “safe place” to talk about his feelings.
Realising the impact of the support they have received, Beth decided she wanted to give back to St Oswald’s by taking some inspiration from Alfie, who ran the Junior Great North Run last year.
The group have named themselves “Alfie’s Angels” as they prepare to run from Newcastle to South Shields.
“I honestly don’t know why I picked the Great North Run, I can’t run at all, but I suppose that’s the challenge,” said Beth.
“Alfie and his friends did the Mini and Junior Great North Run last year and have signed up again this year, so I thought it was time for me to challenge myself too.
“I’ve managed to run just over three miles so far and I even walked half of that. The day will be interesting as we have a full mixture of people in our team, with some easily running the route multiple times and then others like me who have hardly done any training.
“St Oswald’s has a place in my heart, what they do is mind-blowing.
“I honestly don’t know where we’d be right now if it wasn’t for the support of the Bereavement Team there, it’s invaluable and the team don’t get enough credit for the incredible work they do with families.
“Beth, the Family Practitioner, specialises in children’s bereavement and I can’t shout enough about how much she has helped Alfie.
“Alfie has said if he helps at least one person it all would’ve been worth it.”