Knowing families facing the toughest of times has given Sophie Thornton all the inspiration she needs to take on this year’s Redbrik Chesterfield Half Marathon for Bluebell Wood.
Sophie, who worked as a carer for ten years and now runs her own cleaning company in Sutton on Ashfield, will be among hundreds of people taking in the sights of Chesterfield when she sets off from Queens Park on Sunday 21 October.
Sophie is the niece of deputy-mayor Stuart Brittain and is related, through a cousin, to the Singh-Eyley family from New Tupton, who have been supported by Bluebell Wood since 2009. Eleven-year-old Theo Singh-Eyley, who has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, feeding problems and is registered blind, visits Bluebell Wood for short breaks, often with his mum Denise and brother Luis.
Sophie said: “My experience as a carer showed me that families go through incredibly tough times and many can struggle to get the support they need. 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 also 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 21 October comes around and raise as much as possible for Bluebell Wood.”
Theo’s mum Denise said: “When we visit Bluebell Wood, Theo’s brother 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, 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 book your place in the Redbrik Chesterfield Half Marathon for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice please visit redbrikchesterfieldhalf.com/