A TEENAGER is going on the run in memory of her mum, and she’s hoping to raise more than £1,000 for charity.
Alice Heywood is planning to do this year’s Great North Run, the 35th, in aid of mental health charity Mind.
The 19-year-old, of Mickle Close, Blackfell, Washington, has already amassed more than £800 in sponsorship and donations in lieu of flowers at her mum’s funeral, and is hoping to hit double figures by the time the half-marathon is held on on Sunday, September 13.
Though she hasn’t done any running since her days at St Joseph’s RC Primary in Washington Village and St Robert of Newminster Catholic School in Fatfield, Alice was inspired to invest in a pair of trainers and engage in some unaccustomed exercise as a tribute to her late mum, Lorraine Heywood.
Mrs Heywood, a nurse at the special care baby unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, died of pneumonia in October at the age of 49, leaving – as well as Alice – husband Rob, 52, son Rory, 17, and younger daughter Poppy, 16.
She had been plagued by depression, prompting Alice to pick Mind as the charity to benefit from her fundraising.
“Mental health is something that is really close to my family’s heart,” said the second-year geography student.
“It is very important to me to raise as much money as I can for Mind as it is an excellent charity and supports people with mental health problems.
“My mum had suffered very seriously from depression, so I know all about how mental health issues affect people and also about how taboo mental health is.
“Mental health issues such as depression are something that can affect any of us, so awareness is very important.”
“I have never run in my life, so this is a massive challenge I am undertaking,” she said.
“I’ve only done bits and bobs so far, but I’ll have to do some proper practice soon.”
Alice will be accompanied on the run by her friend Diane Matthews, 20, of Fatfield, Washington.
To sponsor Alice, go to uk. virginmoneygiving.com/AliceHeywood