Lewis Mighty Fund patron runs half marathon in aid of Nottingham Hospitals Charity

Gill CatchpoleA self-confessed ‘hater of running’ has become a convert after lacing up her trainers to complete a half marathon to raise money for the Lewis Mighty Fund.

Gill Catchpole, along with her husband, singer songwriter James Morrison, is a patron of the fund that was set up to support young Lewis Mighty from Mackworth, Derby. Lewis died in 2012 at the age of seven after suffering from neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer.

The fund, which is part of Nottingham Hospitals Charity, now supports youngsters from across the East Midlands who are undergoing treatment for cancer at Nottingham’s Children’s Hospital.

Gill and James have supported the Lewis Mighty Fund in a number of ways since becoming patrons, but this is the first time that Gill has pledged to carry out her own physical challenge.

She’s now in training for the Stroud Half Marathon which takes place on October 26th.

“As a patron of the Lewis Mighty Fund, I wanted to do something to raise some money for this amazing charity,” said Gill, 36. “After some thought, I decided I wanted to do something that would push me to my limits. I have never been very athletic and always hated running, so I decided that doing the Stroud Half Marathon would be a good way to push myself. At times I have found it really hard and wanted to give up.”

However, Gill has been inspired by the support and encouragement from her family and friends. She hopes to raise £500 for the charity and has set up a justgiving page https://www.justgiving.com/Gillian-Simpson6/ to collect sponsorship.

Since taking up running, she feels more lively and less groggy when waking up, she says.

“The training is tough but it’s been nice to have something to concentrate on and it will be worth it in the end. I expect I will be in tears when I go over the finishing line,” added Gill, who lives in Gloucestershire.

Husband James is very much a believer in music acting as therapy for children and has already provided some lovely items for this use within the Paediatric Oncology Unit at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, including a beautiful hand-decorated guitar.

Jenny Wing, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “Gill and James are very generous in their support of the Lewis Mighty Fund. To train and run a half marathon takes tremendous commitment and effort, and we are extremely grateful that Gill has chosen to raise money in this way to help young children with cancer from across the East Midlands. We wish her all the best for the run.”

This month (September) is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which raises awareness of childhood cancer, the impact it has, and the work that various charities undertake in support of youngsters with cancer and their families.

Nottingham Hospitals Charity exists to benefit patients, staff and facilities at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust’s City Hospital, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham Children’s Hospital, Hayward House Palliative Care Centre and Ropewalk House.

Your gifts help us provide the added extras that make a real difference to patient care at Nottingham’s hospitals, such as specialist equipment, improved facilities, medical research and staff development programmes.

To find out more about Nottingham Hospitals Charity, to make a donation or to get involved in fundraising, go to www.nottinghamhospitalscharity.org.uk.