An NHS nurse is taking on twelve half marathons, two marathons and an ultramarathon in 2023 to raise money for charity.
Kat Nicholson is a clinical nurse lead in the neurological and specialist services at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), a provider of mental health and learning disability services.
For her ninth half marathon of the year, Kat is running the Great North Run on 10 September for SHINE Fund, CNTW’s charity.
SHINE provides money for ‘little extras’ that make a big difference to patients’ recovery and mental wellbeing. SHINE Fund has supported service users with everything from horse-riding outings to gardening tools, summer activities for young people, and even Christmas decorations for our wards.
Kat says: “I work with patients facing neurological difficulties, often caused by head injuries, who might be in hospital for quite some time. Without money from the SHINE Fund, some of my patients wouldn’t have the means to access things to make their time in hospital more joyful.
“Sometimes the smallest of things can make a huge difference to patients. For example, board games purchased using money from SHINE are great for helping patients connect with staff or their families.”
Kat started running six years ago after a major operation and has fallen in love with the sport.
Kat has already run six half marathons in 2023. She battled snow, rain and ice at Hamsterley Forest, took part in a Guns n Roses-themed half marathon and enjoyed seeing the sights of the capital during the London Landmarks Half.
Without money from the SHINE Fund, some of my patients wouldn’t have the means to access things to make their time in hospital more joyful.Kat NicholsonNurse, CNTW
Kat has also run one of her planned marathons, Leeds Marathon in May, and a thirty-one-mile ultramarathon.
She has been raising money for several charities, including Breast Cancer Research and Huntington’s Disease Association.
Kat’s advice to other runners taking on the Great North Run for charity this year is: “Just enjoy it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, it’s all about getting the finish line, not your time.
“Soak up the amazing atmosphere and just be proud of yourself.
“If you’re doing it for a good cause, keep that in mind and it will keep you going.”
You can sponsor Kat on her online fundraising page.