Published on: 5 September 2022

NHS heroes are counting down their final Great North Run training sessions as they get set to raise funds to help support patients.

This year’s event will once again pass by the gates of South Tyneside District Hospital after the event was cancelled in 2020 and then put on a diverted route last year because of COVID-19.

An estimated 60,000 people will run along John Reid Road in South Shields as they make their way from Newcastle to the finishing line on the town’s Coast Road.

Among them will be Consultant Cardiologist, Mickey Jachuck, who was among four ‘health heroes’ selected to help start last year’s event in recognition of the NHS’s role in the pandemic, with his team providing around-the-clock care to COVID patients.

This year he will be raising funds for the Trust’s own STS Charity, which funds a host of projects to help patients, support staff and improve the experience for visitors.

Mickey said:

“Last year's Great North Run was incredible and fantastic for so many reasons.

“Not only was it my first ever GNR, but I was lucky enough to be one of four local NHS workers chosen to be the official race starters. 

“It was a real honour and privilege for me to represent my wonderful colleagues at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, and it was a truly memorable occasion that I will never forget. 

“This year, in some ways, will be even more special as the iconic event returns to its normal route - finishing in South Shields. For the first time, I'll be running past one of the hospitals I work at on my way to the finish line on the coast. 

“As a way of celebrating this, and also saying thanks to the wonderful people I work with and those who we provide care for, I'm raising money for our own Trust charity.”

Also among the runners will be Rheumatology Medical Secretary, Julie Breeds, who is based at Sunderland Royal Hospital. She will be raising money for St Benedict’s Hospice.

Dr Mickey Jachuck and Julie Breeds are ready for this year's Great North Run..jpg

Dr Mickey Jachuck and Julie Breeds are ready for this year's Great North Run.

She is taking part in her first GNR in memory of her friend and colleague, Elaine Fortune who died of cancer a year ago aged 54 and was cared for in the Ryhope hospice. Former colleagues, Leanne Watson and Victoria O’Neill, will also join her in the fundraising efforts.

Julie, who lives in Sunderland, said:

“I’ve always wanted to do it and now I’m going to do it for Elaine.

“Elaine and I started work together, so we were friends and colleagues for almost 25 years. I was able to spend time with her while she was being cared for in St Benedict’s. They did such an amazing job of looking after her.

“I’ve been going to Sunderland Strollers as part of my training since January and they have been fantastic.”

Julie Breeds pictured with her late friend Elanie Fortune..JPG

Julie Breeds pictured with her late friend Elanie Fortune.

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Alan Cooney will also be running for St Benedict’s Hospice, with the event his fourth Great North Run.

Eight of the Trust’s maternity staff will take part in the run to raise funds for Sunderland-based 4Louis. The charity offers support to families experiencing baby loss and has worked with the department to provide memory boxes and create dedicated rooms for families to use.

The running team features Charlotte Mutton, Clare Shaw, Sarah Little, Hannah Clark, Leon Pinkney, Gillian Rowe, Lauren Ingram and Rachael Arundel.

Maternity colleagues Charlotte Mutton, Clare Shaw, Sarah Little and, Hannah Clark will be among a team of runners from the department taking part in the Great North Run to raise funds for the 4Louis charity..png

Maternity colleagues Charlotte Mutton, Clare Shaw, Sarah Little and, Hannah Clark will be among a team of runners from the department taking part in the Great North Run to raise funds for the 4Louis charity.

Donations to their fund can be made to their own page by clicking here and searching for each of their names.

Clare said on behalf of the team:

“It’s a privilege to run on behalf of 4Louis for the Great North Run.

“As a midwife, I have cared for bereaved families and have witnessed how much 4Louis’ support means to them in helping families spend time with their baby and make precious memories that will last a lifetime.

“I’ve never been a runner, and if you asked me a few years ago if I’d be doing this I’d have probably laughed, but I’ll be thinking of the families, particularly those I’ve cared for, every step of the way to keep me going.”

A host of other staff and their family members and friends are taking part to raise funds for projects within the Trust and other healthcare charities.

Staff nurse, Kirby Fleetham is running to raise funds for equipment and items for patients on South Tyneside District Hospital’s cardiology ward.

Janine Beezer, an Advanced Clinical Pharmacist with the Inpatient Heart Failure Team, her husband Mick and Consultant and fellow Heart Failure Team member Dr Sam McClure are all running for heart failure charity Pumping Marvellous.

Healthcare Assistant, Bev Anderson will join Julie in supporting St Benedict’s in memory of her grandad, while Staff Nurse, Lisa Hudson is running for Stroke UK in memory of her grandmother.

Other runners include Janice Wilkinson, Directorate Manager Support for General Internal Medicine and Medical Specialities and her daughter Katie, who are running for the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman (CHUF) and Chinny Patnaik, Lead Clinical Pharmacist who is running for the Red Sky Foundation.

CAMHS Practitioner Charlotte Dean is running for Alzheimer’s Research in memory of her aunt, with Sunderland Eye Infirmary Junior Sister, Adam Taylor running for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in support of a boy he knows with the condition.

Adele Bryson, a domestic at Sunderland Royal Hospital, is running to raise funds to support those diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Safe Care Lead Emma Parker-Lee and her five-year-old son Eddie will be taking part in the Mini Great North Run to raise funds for the charity The Special Lioness.

Healthcare Assistant Laura Nolan is running in memory of her grandfather for Kidney Care UK.

Healthcare Assistant Lisa Simpson and staff nurse Megan Bell, who are based in the Intensive Care Unit, are running for the Charlie and Carter Cookson Foundation, while teammates staff nurse Carrie Bernasor will run for Blood Care UK, with staff nurse Jesher Kangleon also taking part.

Public Health consultant Ryan Swiers is taking part for the Cinnamon Trust, a national charity which helps the elderly and terminally ill look after their pets.