Family inspires runner's half marathon for children's hospice

Relatives going through tough times will spur one of the runners in Chesterfield Half Marathon who is raising money for Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice.

Monday, 23rd April 2018, 2:40 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd April 2018, 2:46 pm
Sophie Thornton is taking part in Redbrik Half Marathon.
Sophie Thornton is taking part in Redbrik Half Marathon.

Sophie Thornton, 31, the niece of the town’s mayor Stuart Brittain, is related, through a cousin, to the Singh-Eyley family from New Tupton, who have been supported by the hospice since 2009.

Eleven-year-old Theo Singh-Eyley, has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, feeding problems and is registered blind. He visits Bluebell Wood for short breaks, often with his mum Denise and brother Luis.

Sophie will be among hundreds of runners participating in the half-marathon, which sets off from Queens Park, on Sunday, October 21.

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Having worked as a carer for ten years before setting up a cleaning company, Sophie is aware of the tough times which families go through and many struggle to get the support they need. She said: “Charities like Bluebell Wood are a lifeline, giving care in all kinds of ways, from helping parents and carers get a break to giving brothers and sisters the opportunity to have fun. I know that they completely rely on fundraising to be able to continue offering this support.

“When my uncle Stuart, who is going to be Mayor of Chesterfield next year, said he was planning to do the fun run at the half marathon, I thought it would be great to go along and do my bit.

“I’ve been running for five years. It keeps me fit and is a good hobby.

“I run three or four times a week so hopefully I’ll be ready to hit the streets of Chesterfield by the time October 21 comes around and raise as much as possible for Bluebell Wood.”

Theo’s mum Denise said: “When we visit Bluebell Wood, Luis thinks he is going on his holidays and really enjoys all the special attention he receives from the staff.

“Being able to talk to other parents who are going through similar situations also helps. This not only means sharing advice and having a shoulder to cry on but also creating lovely memories. Bluebell Wood has taught me many things and I value every single minute we spend there.”

Lucy Rathbone, community fundraiser for Bluebell Wood, said: “We’re so grateful to Sophie for choosing Bluebell Wood as her charity for the Chesterfield Half Marathon.

“Every penny she raises will help us to offer all the services that families across north Derbyshire need, from sibling groups and music therapy to counselling and end of life treatment and care.

“We can’t wait to cheer her on this October.”

To reserve your place in the Redbrik Chesterfield Half Marathon for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice visit