Charities benefit as 15 TONNES of clothing left by runners at Great North Run

Just some of the hundreds of bags of clothing picked up at the Great North Run start line.
Just some of the hundreds of bags of clothing picked up at the Great North Run start line.

The Great North Run is set to continue to help those worst off in the North East - after thousands of runners' clothes were donated to charity.

Six vans full of discarded tops, jackets and bottoms from the 57,000 participants were found at the start line of the race, in Newcastle.

They were collected by 40 volunteers from Making Winter Warmer and the British Heart Foundation, who will now distribute them to those who need them most.

There were enough clothes to fill 700 refuse bags, which were packed and returned to the charities depots on Sunday afternoon, following the start of the race.

The clothes were scattered across the runners' assembly area, which stretches across one mile from Claremont Road Bridge to Grandstand Road Bridge.

Homeless people in the North East will receive the 15 tonnes of clothes collected by Making Winter Warmer. That's the equivalent of the weight of a double-decker bus.

The British Heart Foundation, meanwhile, took about 300 bags of clothing to its two stores in Newcastle city centre, as well as its stores in Morpeth, Northumberland and Sunderland.

Jo Burns, of Making Winter Warmer, said: “After the Great North Run, everybody leaves a lot of clothing behind that they don’t need while they are running.

“We were delighted to be invited along by the Great North Run to collect the unwanted items - it’s an amazing opportunity for the charity.

“We store them at our base and get them washed before they are handed out to our street friends.”

Nigel Bullock, area manager at the British Heart Foundation, added: “It was great to be involved in the Great North Run in such a special way and we are very grateful for the opportunity.

“We collected around 300 bags of discarded clothing items and I would estimate that the items combined would be worth in excess of £2,500!”

Joe Milner, assistant start director at the Great North Run, said: “The official charity clothing pick-up is truly a military operation, with volunteers scattered across the mile-long startline.

“It was a mammoth task that took over an hour-and-a-half, but without the help of our charity partners, the clean-up would have taken a lot longer.

“It is great to know that the collected clothes will be going to worthy causes and to those who need it most.”

The Great North Run will return in 2017 on Sunday, September 10. Those interested in taking part can sign up to the reminder service at grtrun.org/GNRReminder