Nick Southorn

Ashbourne local Nick Southorn is facing a year of running challenges - including five marathons, two half-marathons and a 33-mile obstacle course – all in the name of charity.

The 35 year-old who suffers with chronic pain and fatigue, is hoping to raise up to £2000 for his two charities of choice – Treetops Hospice Care and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Treetops Hospice Care provides nursing care and emotional support for adults, their families and carers across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The charity must raise over £3m each year to run the hospice and provide all its services for free to the local community.

Nick SouthornI want to contribute as much as I can to end-of-life care and palliative care

Nick, an NHS Advanced Clinical Practitioner for Derbyshire Community Health, explained how running has had a huge, positive impact on his life:

“The reason I run is because I live with chronic and persistent pain. I used to be in the army and was reasonably fit but then having left through chronic pain, it led to depression as I wasn’t physically able to do the things I wanted to do.

“About two years ago I started running again and it was difficult but I got there. I ran in the London Marathon last year which was a massive achievement. It was great for my physical health, great for my mental health and so I do it as much as I can for charity now to give me that extra incentive to keep going.

“I have patients with long-term conditions who make use of the essential care provided by Treetops and so I want to contribute as much as I can to end-of-life care and palliative care.”

Nick SouthornJust go and see what you can do

Nick is encouraging others to follow in his footsteps:

“Get out there and get moving – it’s the only way to start. It doesn’t matter what your ability level is, you never know what you’re capable of until you start trying.

“I’m a big advocate of people who live with chronic pain and chronic fatigue – the conditions that I live with – to just get out and do it because it’s so worth it. That feeling of achievement once you’ve overcome the odds and your own personal feeling of well-being goes through the roof. Don’t think that you have to be pain-free or super fit or a well-seasoned runner – just go and see what you can do.”

An amazing example

Treetops Hospice Care corporate fundraiser Kathryn Box said:

“Nick is an amazing example of someone who is prepared to go the extra mile – or 190!  –and support Treetops and we all wish him the best of luck in his training. The money he’s raising will mean even more local people will benefit from our services.

“We’d love to hear from anyone who’s been inspired by Nick’s story. We’re having a special Challenge Evening here at Treetops on Wednesday 1 February at 7pm for those who want to know more about the different events and challenges – both here in the UK and abroad – that we have on offer.”

Those interested in sponsoring Nick can do so via his Virgin Money Giving page.

Nick will be taking part in the London Marathon, Tough Mudder, Liverpool Rock & Roll Marathon, Nottingham Robin Hood Marathon, Birmingham International Marathon, Leicester Marathon, Warwick Half Marathon and Loughborough Half Marathon.

Treetops services include Support and Information, a Day Care unit based in Risley, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling and complementary therapy.