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Darlington Samaritans tackle Great North Run to raise funds
VOLUNTEERS from a North-East charity are getting ready to take part in the Great North Run for a cause close to their hearts.
Five runners from the Darlington branch of the Samaritans will take part in Sunday’s (September 15) race to help swell the coffers of the organisation, which is entirely self-funded.
Whatever funds they raise will be match-funded up to £500 by the Darlington branch of Lloyds bank.
Volunteer call handlers Craig Stephens and Gail Vernon will compete at the weekend, along with Debbie Simmons, Stephen McAllister and Doug Vernon.
Mr McAllister, 47, who works as a sales director is involved as his mother, Liz, is director of the Darlington branch.
He said: “It will be the third time I have taken part, each time was for the Samaritans.
“I am happy to run and hopefully help raise as much money as possible, but it is the guys who take the phone calls that are the heroes.”
Mrs McAllister is delighted that the branch will receive extra funding on top of what the runners raise.
She said: “Our volunteers work hard to support our callers when they are distressed and despairing.
“To know that what we do is seen by Lloyds as valuable boosts our morale and will, I’m sure, give our runners that little extra they need.”
Samaritans will have a cheering point at mile 12 of the course, where volunteers will be encouraging spectators to cheer runners on in the final stages.
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