Well done Team FORCE!

Well done to everyone who took part in the 2017 Great West Run on behalf of FORCE – what an awesome team of runners we had.

It was a truly remarkable day and you have all done yourselves and our charity proud.

We are hoping to raise more than £30,000 from the sponsorship you received by inspiring people with your courage and personal stories of why FORCE means so much to you.

That money will help us support even more local people affected by cancer.

A big shout-out too to all the enthusiastic supporters and a fantastic team of volunteers – you all contributed to a memorable day.

Truly amazing

Oly Watts, FORCE Fundraising Development Officer said: “The Great West Run is a fantastic opportunity for FORCE to get involved in and gives a chance for our supporters and volunteers to come together, compete in a challenge, raise awareness and be part of a successful and local event.

“It was truly amazing to see so many people supporting FORCE, emphasising just how important FORCE is to so many people in our community and in Devon as a whole.”

There were so many stories of bravery and moving reasons for running the 13.1 miles around the Exeter area.

Alex Tipper shared her motivation for taking part in the half marathon.

Massive thank you

“I did the Great West Run in memory of my amazing mum, Kate Getliffe, to raise money for FORCE,” she said. “I’d never done a half marathon before and was absolutely terrified, but the people were wonderful and it was really great to have all of the FORCE volunteers cheering us on!

“A massive thank you to FORCE for this incredible event! I’m so pleased to have been able to take part and to know that my sponsorship is going to such an important charity.”

Helen Parminter also took on the distance for the first time. Her partner, Jay Taylor, is receiving treatment for a terminal brain tumour and has shared his story with FORCE and the local media.

Worthy cause

Jay and their daughter, Olivia, took part in the Great West family fun run the day before Helen lined up for the big event.

The whole family has received support from FORCE and Helen acknowledged the importance of our charity’s role in completing this huge personal challenge.

“Thank you so much for your support with our fun run and half marathon efforts. We really enjoyed raising cash for such a worthy cause,” she said.

“FORCE is a really special charity because of you guys. Thanks for all the support, e-mails, chats over tea and especially the hugs. It’s meant a lot to us as a family.

Touched my heart

“I hope we’ve helped to raise awareness of what the charity does through social media and the newspaper.

“Usually I am a very private person and post very little, let alone pour my heart out so publicly anywhere, let alone for half of Exeter to read.

“However you guys have touched my heart and trying to do just a little bit to help others access that support was the driving factor behind the fundraising. Our target was a grand so I hope we have done you proud.

“I struggled with the run as I’d not had chance to train much over seven miles. If I was doing it for myself, it’s around this distance I might have given up.

Kept me going

“However, thinking of my family, how much you all do to support local people, all of the people that use the Centre and everyone that’s donated kept me going.

“Thank you so much.”

There were nearly 150 other poignant accounts of why so many of you ran in aid of FORCE. We thank each and every one of you for your incredible support.