Big heart in the Big Apple

Christine Heslop
Christine Heslop
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A PONTELAND woman has stomped her way to raising more than £2,500 for a cancer charity.

Christine Heslop ran the New York Marathon on behalf of her employer Newcastle Building Society and completed the 26.2-mile course in aid of the Society’s Charity of the Year, Macmillan Cancer Support.

The organisation has pledged to support the charity over a 12-month period and this event was an important milestone in its fund-raising efforts.

Taking part in the marathon was a long-held ambition for Mrs Heslop, who has worked for the Society for more than 10 years as Head of Marketing Communications.

She said: “For years, I had thought about doing something like this but never quite got round to organising it.

“Then, when Newcastle Building Society’s staff voted to support Macmillan Cancer Support, I thought that would be a great charity to run for.

“The support the Society gave me was fantastic as they helped me promote my fund-raising to all of our staff.

“To be honest, I was overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity.

“I ran with my best friend, Alison, who I have known since I was three, so that was a fantastic achievement for both of us to share. I have even signed up to run the Amsterdam marathon this year so I have really caught the running bug.”

Mrs Heslop held a range of fund-raising events, including a coffee morning, to help her achieve her target.

Newcastle Building Society’s Charity of the Year programme is approaching its fifth year and it allows its staff to nominate and vote for the charity it wants to support over 12 months.

In previous years, it has supported Maggie’s Cancer Care, the Great North Air Ambulance and the Grafter’s Club.

Kelly Knighting, Regional Fund-raising Manager for Macmillan Cancer Care, said: “We are very grateful to Christine for taking part in the New York Marathon and running in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

“The charity relies on donations to enable us to provide our services to people living with cancer, so partnerships like this are so important and really help us make a difference locally.”