Charitable Chesterfield trio the Purple Shooting Stars just keep on running…

Since 2014 the women have raised over £12,000 and clocked up thousands of miles, all to help Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice give care and support to families across North Derbyshire and beyond.

Nicola Yeomans who lives in Heath, her twin sister, school dinner lady Alison West from Holmewood, and their friend Joanne Clarkson, a special needs teacher from Duckmanton, have no plans for stopping.

Nicola, 40, a Chesterfield Borough Council Benefits Officer, said: “I got involved with Bluebell Wood when the council made the hospice its Charity of the Year in 2013.

“I had never been a runner, but I bagged a Bluebell Wood place in the Great North Run, got the bug and started running eight miles a week with my sister and we both completed the Chesterfield Half Marathon for the hospice.

“Joanne also joined us and we formed The Purple Shooting Stars running group, named after the hospice colours.”

Since then the women have taken part in numerous races and half marathons and organised fundraising fashion shows, market stalls and quiz nights for the hospice. 

By the end of 2016 they had raised £7,500 and came up with the idea a yearly mileage challenge. In 2017 they ran the equivalent of Lands End to John O’Groats and raised £1,938, and a year later they clocked up 1,254 miles, the equivalent of running from London to Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, bringing in £2831.97 for the hospice.

Their grand total is now £12,270 and there is more to come…

This summer Nicola, mum of three Alison and mum of two Joanne have the equivalent of several Olympic Triathlons to complete.

They will each tackle a 1.5km swim at Sharley Park Swimming Pool in Clay Cross , a 10k run and  are aiming to clock up 40km of cycling on exercise bikes and rides in Derbyshire.

They are hoping Nicola’s council colleagues will join them on a Mighty Hike around Derwent Edge on Saturday July 13 and on top of that, there is the Great North Run to tackle in September and the Worksop Half Marathon in October. 

Said Nicola: “You don’t realise how much you’ve raised until you add it up. We are really so grateful to our workmates, families and friends who keep on sponsoring us. They call me the Council’s Charity Queen now!

“We do an event every other month and would never want to fundraise for any other charity. We have visited Bluebell Wood several times and been so impressed at the incredible work its people do to support children and families during some of the hardest times they will ever face. We’re really aware just how much the hospice relies on the support of people like us.”

Bluebell Wood gives care and support to children with a shortened life expectancy, both in their own homes and at the hospice in North Anston.

Services cover all of South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and parts of North Lincolnshire.

Rachael Dawes, Corporate Fundraising Manager at Bluebell Wood, said: “We’re so grateful to Alison, Nicola and Joanne for their continued commitment and energetic fundraising.

“Every penny they raise helps 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.”

To sponsor the Purple Shooting Stars, go to