They keep on running. Three women from Chesterfield have taken on their newest and biggest challenge in support of families across North Derbyshire and beyond.

Alison West, her twin sister Nicola Yeomans and their friend Joanne Clarkson, who call themselves ‘Purple Shooting Stars’, will be running over 2000 kilometres in 2018 to raise money for Bluebell Wood.

Having run the equivalent of Lands End to John O’Groats in 2017, the trio have now decided to run the equivalent distance from London to Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, which is 2018 km, or 1254 miles.

Among the many running events they’ll be tying up their laces at to meet their target, is the biggest half marathon in the world, the Great North Run on Sunday 9 September 2018.

Alison said: “The Great North Run will be the highlight this year as it will be the first time Joanne and I take part, and a great memory for Nicola, who did it in 2013 as her first long distance event for Bluebell Wood. She says it’s a wonderful experience.

“We formed Purple Shooting Stars in 2014 in support of Bluebell Wood and Nicola and I did the first Chesterfield Half Marathon.  Joanne began to run with us and caught the running ‘bug’ and in 2015 the three of us crossed the finish line together at that year’s Chesterfield Half Marathon.

“Every year since then we have continued to raise funds for Bluebell Wood through our running, but also by organising tombolas, raffles, quizzes, market days and we will be hosting a fashion show the week before the Great North Run.”

Rachel Hodges, Senior Events Fundraiser, Bluebell Wood, said: “We’re so grateful to Alison, Nicola and Joanne for their continued commitment and energetic fundraising for Bluebell Wood. Every penny they raise makes a big difference in helping us to provide more of the services our families need, from music therapy, arts and crafts and sibling support to counselling and end of life treatment and care.”

Broadcast live on the BBC, the Simplyhealth Great North Run, on Sunday 9 September, sees thousands of runners take on the half marathon challenge.

To follow Purple Shooting Stars’ progress please visit their page.