A relative of one of the founders of a Hartlepool charity is getting ready to hit the streets in his first ever Great North Run this weekend.
James Ward will join thousands of athletes and fun runners on Sunday in the world’s biggest half marathon.
He is raising money for Hartlepool Carers following the death of his great aunt Hilda Hamilton, who helped to launch the organisation in 1994.
James, 27, who runs a cleaning business, said: “It’s great to see the charity still going strong to this day.
“It makes me very proud of my aunt Hilda and I just want to help Hartlepool Carers to keep going, which I know would mean so much to her.”
Hartlepool Carers was Hilda’s brainchild, born out of her experience of caring for her husband Jim.
She passed away in January, but the legacy of Hilda, and fellow Hartlepool Carers founders Peggy Mordaunt, Edith Harnish and Joyce Broom lives on in the support he charity continues to provide to local carers from its base in Lowthian Road.
Each of them had personal experience of caring for their loved ones and knew first hand the difficulties and stresses a caring role can present.
A Hartlepool Carers spokesman said: “Their knowledge, expertise, dedication and commitment was crucial to what has become Hartlepool’s foremost carers’ support organisation, a registered charity delivering vital services to local carers.
“Hilda recognized that everyone who cares for a loved one needs a break themselves, and often just knowing there is someone there to offload to can mean the difference between giving up and carrying on.”
James, who plays for Hartlepool Cricket Club and lives in Stockton, added: “I’m looking forward to the Great North Run.
“I have done plenty of training so I should be alright fingers crossed.”
You can sponsor James by calling in to Hartlepool Carers, 19a Lowthian Road, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.