Colleagues to keep hospice aid running
Buy this photo » Michelle Barr, Phil Wilson and Harvey Fremlin from The National Self Build And Renovation Centre who are running in this year’s Swindon half marathon on Sunday in memory of Naomi Handford-Jones
FOUR colleagues will run the Swindon Half Marathon on Sunday, in memory of a friend who bravely battled cancer for three years.
Members of Team NSBRC – Harvey Fremlin, Phil Wilson, Michelle Barr and Iris Umiten – all work together at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre in Lydiard Fields and plan to raise money for Dorothy House Hospice Care.
The charity cared for Naomi Handford-Jones throughout her fight with cancer, between 2010 and September 27, 2013, when she lost her fight at the age of 51.
Harvey, who has fronted the push for sponsorship, said the team expected to raise £750 by the time the race came around.
Naomi was one of the first employees to work with the NSBRC, starting as an events manager when the centre was launched in January 2007.
Harvey, 34, said: “Naomi would deal with all the guest speakers we had at the centre, including celebrities like [BBC Ground Force builder] Tommy Walsh.
“She genuinely was a lovely lady, very special, and people who have worked with the centre had been asking about her right up until the end.
“Last week, the church was packed at a service for her, which paid testament to the woman she was. There was only standing room at the church.
“She was working throughout this year, to raise money for Dorothy House, and we want to show our respect by raising money for them too.
“She gave up working [when she was diagnosed in 2010], but kept coming back in and we all kept in touch.
“She actually felt very well for most of the time and dedicated herself to voluntary work.”
The four entrants had already formed a running group of sorts before Naomi’s passing, with regular trips to the weekly Swindon Parkrun event in Lydiard Park.
For the last five months, the four and three others have battled it out over this 5km distance.
However, Sunday’s event will be a whole new ball game for three of the team members.
“I’ve only done one of these before, but for the others it’s their first half marathon,” said Harvey.
“We have followed a good programme of training and put together some decent 10 and 11 mile runs, but Phil and I are concerned about the girls beating us.
“They are very good. Michelle only really started training this year, but she has already run her first 10km race and looks well-set to get close to two hours on Sunday.”
And he joked: “Also, Phil works for me, so if he beats me I have told him I will raise his targets.”
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