Grainne Eloi, Joanne Smith and David Gibson, three members of staff from Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, are preparing themselves for the Great North Run on Sunday 10 September, whilst raising vital funds for the Trust’s Better Lives charity.

The Great North Run is the largest half marathon in the world, taking place annually in the North East of England each September, with participants running between Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields.

Grainne Eloi, Deputy Director of Nursing, Professions and Care and Joanne Smith, Clinical Lead, Volunteer to Career at the Care Trust have joined each other in training together for the last five months to get themselves ready for the challenge ahead.

Joanne Smith said: “For the last five months, we met no matter what the weather was, even in the dark and freezing cold. Grainne was determined from day one, with no excuses but a passion to keep going, slowly upping the miles but making sure enjoyment was the key.

“I love helping others to achieve their potential, especially with exercise, health, and fitness. I am very passionate about the great job our Better Lives charity does and the difference they make in improving the lives of people within Bradford. I like to support the charity, and this is my way of giving back, along with the privilege of running together with Grainne and sharing this amazing journey with her.”

There will also be an opportunity to meet the legendary British athlete, Sir Mo Farah, who has announced the AJ Bell Great North Run will be his last ever race as a professional athlete.

Grainne Eloi said: “I am finding training fantastic; at the beginning I was starting from scratch but with the amazing help of Jo to coach me we have been building up the distances and working hard. Running is amazing for mental health, it is an instant dopamine and serotonin release, that makes you feel instantly better.

“I really enjoy taking time for me and not being a mum, an employee or anything else. When I’m running it’s very liberating, it’s just for me and it is great to be outdoors. Even when we started training in the rain and ice, I loved it.”

There is another exciting opportunity coming up to represent the Trust’s Better Lives charity on Saturday 09 September, participating in the Yorkshire Three Peaks. Registration is £40 with no minimum sponsorship. This challenge is open to everyone if you would like to get involved email:

David Gibson, Compliance and Governance Manager for Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, is taking on the Great North Run as a 2023 challenge for Better Lives.  In 2022 David challenged himself to run as much of the Yorkshire Three Peaks for Better Lives and in 2021 took part in 5K May by running 5km every day throughout the month of May. David said: “I run to stay happy, fit and healthy, running is a great way to get outdoors and stay active whatever the weather. The Three Peaks last year was a tough challenge but so rewarding, you should do it and fundraise for a great cause at the same time!

The charity raises funds to enhance patient care and go over and above the core services offered. Find out more about the charity: