A WOMAN who had to learn to walk again just one year ago has raised nearly £1,000 for charity after running in the Great North Run.

Gill Simkiss, 54, a newly qualified humanist celebrant from Warcop embarked on the 13.1-mile half marathon with her daughter, Imogen Bonwick, 27, from Tebay.

The duo raised £525 for Versus Arthitis – a charity very close to Gill’s heart after she was diagnosed with a rare form of arthritis around 15 years ago.

This turned into reactive arthritis and left her wheelchair bound around one year ago for nine weeks and required her to learn to walk again.

“Whilst I was learning to walk again, I had this crazy idea that I might as well start to run and train towards the Great North Run,” she said.

“It just seemed like the right thing to do. “If you’re faced with something then you just get on with it because you’ve got no other choice.

“I’d been training for it all the way through and then my daughter decided that she would join me as well.”

Gill and her daughter crossed the finish line in three hours and 12 minutes and were incredibly proud of their achievements.

“If Mo Farah can do it, then I can do it,” Gill said.

“It was brilliant to cross the finish line together and know that we’ve come through an awful lot.”

Gill has also raised £360 for her chosen charity through running a raffle for a humongous, life size JellyCat bear at her ‘Church Gallery’ gift and coffee shop in Kirkby Stephen.

She added: “The one we are raffling is bigger than my granddaughter. People love JellyCat and we’ve never had one that big in our shop before.

“If we can raise £1,000 or more, it’ll be such an amazing achievement.

If you would like to donate for Gill and her daughter running in the largest half marathon in the world with 60,000 determined and dedicated runners, follow this link – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gill-simkiss?fbclid=IwAR3OHca5b_8HJgl5anvL_nRP9aBEFjnQAts19Uxu0v0UED2BxMF4kCUi8uM

Alternatively, you can visit their shop on Market Street in Kirkby Stephen to enter the raffle.