A tireless trio of Chesterfield runners have raced their way to fundraising glory for Bluebell Wood, clocking up a staggering 1,646 miles since January.

The charitable trio, dubbed the Purple Shooting Stars, set out to cover the distance between Chesterfield and Berlin in January. But, as they quickly surpassed their target through lockdown solo runs, they decided to make the return journey too.

Now Nicola Yeomans, her twin sister Alison West and good friend Joanne Clarkson have topped an astonishing £16,000 in funds raised for the charity over the past seven years.

Nicola, 41, who works for Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “I first got involved with Bluebell Wood after they were chosen as the council’s charity for the year in 2013.

“I was never much of a runner before but I decided to take on the Great North Run for Bluebell Wood after hearing about their amazing work.

“It’s safe to say that I got the bug and I soon got my sister and Joanne on board. The following year we formed the Purple Shooting Stars, named after the hospice’s trademark colour.”

This year, alongside their Chesterfield to Berlin challenge, they each took on the Great North Run Solo in lieu of the event itself which was cancelled – consisting of 40 solo runs in 78 days.

The three women celebrated the epic undertaking in spectacular fashion by covering one another in powdered paint for the charity’s popular at-home Colour Throw.

After a year in which they’ve had to do many of their runs alone, the tight-knit trio loved being back in it together.

“You really miss the motivation and camaraderie that comes with running as a group so it’s been lovely to be back together.

“And what better way to top it all off than to cover each other in paint in our very own Colour Throw? It was so much fun and it made for a lovely finale.”

The kind-hearted women have taken part in numerous races and half marathons over the years as well as organising fundraising fashion shows, market stalls and quiz nights for the hospice.

“Bluebell Wood is such an amazing charity that really does change lives and we know how reliant they are on supporters to raise funds,” said Nikki.

“We’ve visited the hospice several times before the pandemic and been blown away by the incredible work being done to support children and families through such difficult times.”

You can support the Purple Shooting Star's amazing fundraising efforts here www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Al-Nic-Jo-Stars2020 

Matt Sheridan, Bluebell Wood’s Regional Fundraiser for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, said: “We’re in awe of Nicola, Alison and Joanne’s incredible fundraising feats and we can’t thank them enough for their dedication and generosity.

“Every penny they raise helps us to support families across North Derbyshire through some of the toughest times they’ll ever have to face.”

You can help local families by registering for one of our amazing events here