Taxi driver Eric Caisley certainly believes in going the extra mile for a good cause.
For the former Army man, who owns Morpeth-based CaisleyCabs, is getting into gear to take part in the Great North Run this weekend.
Mr Caisley has teamed up with his neighbours Tracy and Steven Kenny to complete the half-marathon in aid of Henry Dancer Days, which supports children with bone cancer osteosarcoma, and their families.
The well-known Morpeth man has already raised several hundred pounds for the charity by having collection boxes in his cabs and selling pin badges, which were the brainchild of his pal and town councillor David Clark.
And now he has his sights set on reaching the £1,000 mark in sponsorship for the 13-mile run on Sunday.
“I’ve had the collection boxes and been selling the badges for the past six months or so so I decided to take the fund-raising a step further and do the Great North Run,” he said.
“Henry Dancer Days all started with a 12-year-old lad from a Morpeth family who was struck with cancer.
“It started with what they thought were growing pains and my own son, who is a similar age, was having the same kind of pains.
“Thankfully, we have had him checked and he is fine, but other children aren’t so lucky.
“Henry’s grandparent lives just round the corner from me and she is a regular customer so in many ways the charity is close to home.”
Mr Caisley and the Kennys have spent months getting ready for the race, but none have taken part in the event before.
“I’ve never done the run, but my background is in the fitness way,” said Mr Caisley.
“I was in the Parachute Regiment when I was younger and I always felt like doing the Great North Run, but I got a bad knee injury when I was in my 20s and haven’t done fitness like that since.
“The knee’s a bit better now so I thought that before I get old and creaky I would do it, and what better way to push me than to do it for a charity like this.
“The Kennys are fitter than me and ten years younger, but I’m as ready as I can be. I don’t have a time target. We said we would aim for two-and-a-half hours, but it will probably be under two. We’ll just see what happens on the day.
“We’ve got about £500 pledged and another £375 online so we’re hoping to get over £1,000 for the charity.”
Henry Dancer Days founder Jane Nattrass, who set up the fund in memory of her son Henry, is delighted with the support she has received from Morpeth.
The fund received a big boost when it became the chosen charity of former Mayor Joan Tebbutt last year, and the cash has continued coming in.
Mrs Nattrass said: “I can’t thank the people of Morpeth enough.
“They have supported us so much over the past year. I would also like the opportunity to thank Mr Caisley and the Kennys, and a lot of businesses in Morpeth, who have put themselves out to give money for kids with cancer.”
To sponsor Mr Caisley and the Kennys visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/caisleycabskennys
henry dancer days
The charity was set up in memory of Henry Dancer, who was just 12 when he died of bone cancer, osteosarcoma.
It supports families of children suffering from cancer, providing funds for days out, equipment and other needs. It now helps 90 families across the UK, and will soon begin funding a storyteller at Newcastle RVI for children undergoing chemotherapy.