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Take part in the Great North Run and support our NHS heroes

Friday, 07 May, 2021
Take part in the Great North Run and support our NHS heroes

Runners are being urged to support Northumberland and North Tyneside’s NHS heroes and the patients they look after by taking on the Great North Run for Bright Northumbria.

Bright, which is the charity of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, has a limited number of places available for the famous half-marathon, which is taking place this year on Sunday, September 12.

Anyone who has secured their own place through the ballot is also welcome to support Bright, which funds those things that the NHS does not, including better facilities for patients and their families alongside support for staff to enable them to provide the best possible care.

Joining them on the start line in Newcastle will be the Trust’s own Eleanor Grogan, a palliative medicine consultant and senior lecturer, who will be supporting Palliative Care Northumbria – which falls under the Bright umbrella – given her dedication and passion for her role.

The 46-year-old, who lives in Whitley Bay, has become a keen runner since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, having tried on and off for years – even attempting the Great North Run on a couple of previous occasions – but without it really sticking.

“I just needed to do something and given I had signed up for the Great North Run again, it made me really focus on running,” Dr Grogan said. “When it switched to the Great Run Solo, the challenge aspect of that really appealed to me and helped me do it properly, and I found I really enjoyed it.

“I joined an online running group and that was great. No one really knew each other before, but we all support each other through Facebook.

“When I really got into running, I needed some headspace and fresh air, particularly when there were so many things that we could no longer do. During lockdown, I didn’t feel as healthy as I normally would and felt my weight was going up, but it was definitely good for wellbeing and mental health as well as physical health.”

To obtain a Bright charity place, you need to pay a £58 registration fee and commit to raising £200 in sponsorship, while those using their own ballot spot can set their own fund-raising target.

Each runner will receive a complimentary professional running vest, support from the Bright charity team, and a post-race charity village reception for you and your supporters.

For more information, contact

During the pandemic, Bright was fortunate to receive grants from the national Covid-19 appeal, through being a member of NHS Charities Together.

This money has been used to fund a range of initiatives, including iPads to help patients connect with loved ones during visiting restrictions, and providing wellbeing spaces and ‘grab and go’ food bags for staff. However, there is always more that can be done, with ongoing staff support crucial as we move on from coronavirus.

Ben O’Connell, media and communications officer

Benjamin.O’ or 07833 046680.