AN energetic schoolgirl has thought up her own way of thanking a hospice for looking after her late gran.
Eight-year-old Amelia McLeod will run round the block where her dad lives 10 times tomorrow to raise money for Hartlepool and District Hospice.
The Wells Avenue-based facility was where Amelia’s grandmother, Eileen Smith, 65, spent her last days before losing a battle with cancer on August 27.
Sacred Heart Primary School pupil Amelia, with the help of her step-sister Bekkah Jackson, eight, has already collected about £200 in sponsorship after the pair received donations from generous relatives, friends and neighbours on the Bishop Cuthbert Estate.
Her family, including little brother Cameron McLeod, four, will be cheering her on from 10am tomorrow as she sets off on her run.
Amelia’s proud dad Simon, a 41-year-old self-employed gas fitter who lives in Evergreen Close, said: “She said ‘me and Bekkah have decided we want to do something nice for grandma’.
“She drew a little picture of our close and said ‘I’ll run round here 10 times’.
“A few hundred pounds has been raised already since a week on Sunday.”
Amelia’s mum, Barbara McLeod, 35, who works for JHP Training and lives in Seaton Carew, said: “Mum had cancer about three-and-a-half years ago, then we found out it came back about six or seven weeks before she died.
“She and Amelia were very close and she saw her grandma every day. “She is very considerate, very caring and this was all her own idea. Her grandma would be very proud of her.”
Simon, who lives with partner Melanie Jackson, a 36-year-old Hartlepool Borough Council worker, and step-daughter Bekkah, added: “I’m absolutely over the moon with what she’s doing.
“She was very close to her grandma and keeps saying ‘I miss her and wish she wasn’t gone’.”
Former Marks and Spencer worker Eileen was married to Terry, a 68-year-old retired builder, and lived on the Brooke Estate.
She also has two sons, Anthony, 46, and Timothy, 44 and two other grandchildren, Hollie Smith, 10, and Katey Smith, 14.
The hospice’s events and community facilitator, Greg Hildreth, said: “On behalf of everyone at the hospice, I’d like to wish Amelia the best of luck with her run and say a big thank you to her for organising it and to all her sponsors and supporters for their kindness.
“I’d also like to say our thoughts are with Amelia and her family at a very difficult time.
“It’s really nice to hear that the care provided to Amelia’s grandma has inspired Amelia to raise money, which will go directly towards caring for our patients.
“She is one of our youngest fundraisers and is setting a great example to the community.”
Anyone wishing to sponsor Amelia can go and watch her run tomorrow or call the hospice on (01429) 855555.