Charlotte sheds pounds to raise pounds

Charlotte Woodcock (centre) hands over her hard earned cash to HospiceCare North Northumberland Manager Sue Gilbertson (right) and Marketing Co-ordinator Julie Frost.
Charlotte Woodcock (centre) hands over her hard earned cash to HospiceCare North Northumberland Manager Sue Gilbertson (right) and Marketing Co-ordinator Julie Frost.
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A NETHERWITTON woman pushed herself to the limit to raise money for a county palliative care charity.

What began as a push to lose a few pounds ended with Charlotte Woodcock completing a very special triathlon and bringing in hundreds of pounds for HospiceCare North Northumberland.

The 29-year-old completed the Great North Swim, the Great North Bike Ride and the Great North Run – two of them in personal best times – collecting more than £1,200 in sponsorship in the process.

And after handing over the money to Hospice Manager Sue Gilbertson, she said: “I enjoyed the experience. Training for endurance events can be tough at times, but knowing I was raising money for such a fabulous cause kept me going.

“I am now planning to do a proper Olympic distance triathlon and maybe, eventually, even take on an ironman challenge.”

The Sales and Marketing Manager with Blagdon-based home builder Countylife Homes, began her quest by joining Tri-Northumberland and turning up for a 13-mile time trial cycle ride.

Charlotte said: “There I was with my 10-year-old bike surrounded by lycra-clad athletes on the latest, carbon fibre machines. It was a nightmare and it could only have been worse if I’d had a basket on the front.”

Undeterred, she then began taking part in the open water swimming sessions the club stages near Woodhorn Museum.

“I probably enjoyed this most because I was a good swimmer as a child,” she added.

Now beginning to enjoy exercise, she took up distance running to build up stamina and once she was regularly completing eight mile training runs, decided a half marathon was possible.

With the encouragement of Countylife Homes’ Chairman and Director John Swanson, who is also a trustee with HospiceCare, Charlotte printed off her sponsorship forms and began applying for places in the Great North events.

The two-mile swim in Windermere was first and despite poor weather – it was delayed by a day due to June storms – she finished in one hour 11 minutes, her best over the distance.

Then came the 57-mile bike ride in August and a time of just over four hours. Last month, it was the Great North Run and another personal best of two hours 23 minutes.

HospiceCare North Northumberland provides daytime palliative care to 300 people, their carers and their families and reaches out to a community of 57,000 people.

All the services are free of charge and a GP referral is not required.

The charity’s Chairman, Peter Slee, said: “Charlotte’s achievement is nothing short of remarkable and we are very grateful for the support she has given us. We need to raise £1,250 every working day to keep our services going, so donations like this are vital. We welcome all such help from the community.”