AN NHS worker has pledged to tackle her first Great North Run in support of NEAS after successfully completing our Couch to 5k training programme.

Jenny Dell, from Hurworth Place, near Darlington, responded to our call to get fit for 2023 by going from ‘Couch to 5k’ in just over 8 weeks, despite suffering from Covid part-way through.

Earlier in the year, Jenny, who is autistic and works as a health care assistant at Darlington Memorial Hospital, signed up to follow our training plan, with the possibility of going on to take part in the Great North Run.

She hit her 5k target just in time for World Autism Month in April, and has decided to carry on training to run the world’s most famous half-marathon, on September 10, and raise money for the Society.

A delighted Jenny said: “It wasn’t easy, but I did it gradually and finally ran a full 5k in 30 minutes, without walking once. It felt really good to finish the training app, and now I’m on to the 5-10k app.”

She also took part in the Darlington South Park parkrun as part of her training, and is determined to keep running.

I’m much fitter now and have lost loads of weight, so I’m quietly confident that I can complete the Great North Run. Any money I raise will help toward making life better for people with autism, and raising autism awareness.

The Society asks each runner to raise £400 in sponsorship - a tenner for each year that we have been supporting autistic people across the North East.

Jenny will be joining more than 57,000 runners in Newcastle to run the 13.1 mile iconic route that finishes along the sea front in South Shields.

She said: “I hope other people will be inspired by what I’ve done, and get their running shoes on. I’ve had lots of support from NEAS and I feel very positive.”

Click here to find out more about Couch to South Shields