SOUTH Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck got a vote of confidence yesterday – as she gets set for a half marathon charity effort.
Mrs Lewell-Buck – along with her husband Simon – are both taking part in the Great North Run in aid of Arts 4 Wellbeing.
The charity, which is based in Derby Terrace, South Shields, provides a place where people with mental health needs or physical and learning disabilities can go and take part in a range of art-based activities.
The couple, will join thousands of runners who will pound the 13.1-mile route from Newcastle to South Shields on September 7.
The charity was chosen by the 35-year-old MP to benefit from the couple’s Great North Run efforts because she has been impressed, during recent visits to the charity, by the services it provides. It will be the first time the couple have taken part in the world’s biggest half-marathon, and yesterday Arts 4 Wellbeing members lined up to wave her on her way.
Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “I come from a social work background and know the value of the work the charity does.
“Every time you go in the atmosphere is really engaging and it’s a lovely place to visit, as everyone is so happy there. It’s a service I would love to see continue and thrive.
“I know with the current funding situation, it is hard for charities, so I just wanted to do my bit for them.
“This is the first time either me or my husband have done the Great North Run.
“It was just something that, every year, I have said I wanted to do, and this year instead of just saying it, I thought ‘I’m going to do it’, so I signed up. I’m really enjoying the training, which is going really well.
“I’m really looking forward to the run.”
People can sponsor Emma and Simon by calling into Arts 4 Wellbeing or Ede House in Westoe where sponsor forms are available.
A JustGiving page for the couple will also be set up so people can donate online.
Dave Woods, project manager at Arts 4 Wellbeing, said: “I think it’s absolutely fantastic the MP has decided to run for the charity. The members who come here all think it’s brilliant.”
Arts 4 Wellbeing gives adults with learning difficulties or disabilities the chance to tune into their artistic skills, and create everything from paintings to pottery.
They work with professional artists and are encouraged to explore their artistic talents.
Service users also have the chance to work towards accredited art-based qualifications.