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A fantastic full team for the Great North Run

Hi Sunshine News Readers,


We have some fantastic news to share with our readers this week as we have already sold out of our Great North Run charity spaces! It’s a joy to be able to confirm our full Team Sunshine so soon after the general ballot closed only this week.


Not only do we have a full team who have taken our limited guaranteed charity spots, but we also have a list of participants who were successful in the ballot and will be running for Team Sunshine in their own places! Our spaces have been incredibly popular this year and we can already tell that the 2024 GNR is set to be a roaring success, and we can’t wait to see our runners representing our small charity in their yellow Team Sunshine t-shirts on Sunday, September 8.

Our runners are set individual fundraising targets of at least £300 each, and all money raised will support local children living with disabilities, additional needs and terminal illness. Donations will allow us to continue our hard work, and will be crucial in helping us fund the life-changing equipment that babies, children and young adults in our region are waiting patiently but desperately for.


For the sixth year running, our GNR campaign will be sponsored by our friends at True Potential, who make up a strong percentage of this year’s team. We are really looking forward to working with the team at True Potential again and we’ve already had some exciting discussions where we’ve brainstormed lots of exciting ideas for this year’s event.


If you’re reading this and feel inspired to take part in an event to raise funds for us, look no further. If you missed out on a Great North Run space, we still encourage you to register your interest and we would be more than happy to add you to our reserve list. We may have the opportunity in May to get some additional spaces.


If you have little ones who would like to take part in their own challenge and be part of the Great North Run weekend, sign them up to the Junior & Mini event and let us know they’re racing for us! All members of Team Mini Sunshine will receive their own yellow t-shirt, a certificate recognising their achievements, plus they’ll have access to our exclusive VIP Sunshine Zone on the Quayside!

Whether they take part in the Mini, Junior, Wheelchair or Mini 50 waves, whether they choose to fundraise for us and get sponsors or not, and whether they’re doing it to support friends, siblings or to challenge themselves, we’d love to see as many mini racers as possible! Help us spread some sunshine on Saturday, September 7; find out more here and register your place here.


For all things GNR, to let us know that you or your child is racing for The Sunshine Fund, or if you’d like to be added to our reserve list, please contact Amanda.Keddie@thesunshinefund.org.


Alternatively, if the GNR doesn’t appeal to you but you’d like to take on a challenge, we have so many other opportunities for readers to get involved – whether you’re a keen runner or if walking is more your thing. Perhaps you’d like to take to the water or hop on a bike to raise money for us?


Walk the length of the Great North Run and absorb some local history while you’re at it! On Friday, May 24 we’ll be taking a team of Sunshine Trekkers to one of our region’s most iconic landmarks as we take on a 13-mile trek along Hadrian’s Wall.


Trekkers must raise at least £250 each to support local kids with complex needs, whilst completing the challenge in just eight hours. It will be led by the experts at Challenge Northumberland, who will guide the team as we explore sights such as Thirlwell Castle, the Housesteads Roman fort, Steel Rigg, Walltown Crags, Crag Lough and, of course, the recently felled Sycamore Gap.

Two of this year’s Sunshine Trekkers have taken part in previous treks for the charity, returning for another challenge! One is Shauna Jones, who says: "I’m taking part this year as I’ve found a love for hiking, going on long treks and recently joined a fitness program “Team RH” where I have been able to lose over a stone in six months. When I saw the fundraiser come up, I knew that myself and Lucy would be interested in it!


"The three peaks was an almighty challenge for our first fundraiser and we knew that Hadrian’s trek would be a lot more manageable (plus the photos will be amazing!). It will be sad to see Sycamore gap without it’s tree but the walk/trek will be worth every moment.”


The other is Laura Thomson, who is on our board of trustees. She said: “As a Trustee of The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, I try to volunteer for a whole range of activities to support the charity. Completing The Lakes 3000 Trek was the most difficult, yet the most rewarding, activity that I have ever experienced.


"It was physically and mentally challenging but knowing that so many people had sponsored me for such as worthwhile cause spurred me on. I got to meet so many lovely supporters of the charity and collectively we raised over £9,000 for The Chronicle Sunshine Fund. I am looking forward to completing the Trek challenge again this year – wish me luck!”

For more information please click here and if you’d like to join the team, please contact Amanda.Keddie@thesunshinefund.org.


Alternatively, there are plenty of national mass participation events that supporters can get involved in whilst representing the charity! We have included some local events on our website for inspiration.


There’s something for everyone, with plenty of marathons, 5Ks and 10Ks for the runners, the Great North Swim and the Great North Swimrun for those who love the water, and smaller scale challenges like the Color Obstacle Rush for the fun runners. Want to take on a challenging bike ride to raise money? Check out the Bamburgh Castle Cycle Sportive, or for those who want it all we have listed lots of triathlons and duathlons, including the Geordieman and the Lakesmans.


Let us know if we’ve missed any off, and if you are taking part in any external challenges on our behalf to support local disabled children, please do tell us! To say thank you we will give you a shout out on social media and will dedicate a segment in our weekly Sunshine column. Simply email Sophie.Revell@thesunshinefund.org or drop us a DM on any of our socials!


Thanks for reading,

Sophie X

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