Volunteers ‘put best foot forward’ in aid of Custom House

A South Shields arts charity is fielding a team of committed volunteers in this year’s Great North Run.

By Sian Cripps
Tuesday, 11 June, 2019, 16:01
Ray Spencer, executive director of The Customs House, with Mitchell Robinson, Jonathan Carter, Mark Hodgson, Brandon Lee Evitt, Karen English, Darren Hymers, Georgie Whale-Spencer and Harrison Farrell-Foster.

The Customes House secured 25 places for the half-marathon this year, to help raise funds for its work and mark its 25th anniversary.

A number of places were offered to the general public, who will join executived director Ray Spencer and other staff and supporters in pounding the 13.1 mile route from Newcastle to South Shields on Sunday, September 8.

Ray, who will don his Dame Bella costume for the event, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that so many people are putting their best foot forward for our wonderful charity and are helping us mark our 25th celebrations.”

Teacher Darren Hymers, 46, from Hebburn, is looking forward to the challenge.

He said: “I have been involved with The Customs House for over 20 years and have appeared on stage many times over the years. I have been a trustee for two years and see first-hand the amazing work The Customs House does for the community.

“I want to help raise its profile and make people more aware of the work it does – and that The Customs House is a charity.”

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Brandon Lee Evitt, 25, a cleaning contractor from South Shields, said: “I’ve always wanted to run the Great North Run, but never really been given the chance. What better opportunity than to run it for my local theatre?”

Jonathan Carter, 32, an insurance advisor from South Shields, whose aunt has performed for The Customs House, said: “I’m happy to raise money for a good cause and even better for a place I have enjoyed coming to since I was young.”

Student Georgie Whale-Spencer, 17, from South Shields, said: “I’m doing the Great North Run for The Customs House to show how much I love and am thankful for this place.”

Among the other runners taking part are panto stars Davey Hopper, Annie Guy, Steven Lee Hamilton and Charlie Raine, who appeared as Arbuthnot, Beauty, The Prince/Beast and Cutlet respectively in last year’s production of Beauty and the Beast.

To support the group, you can donate via www.virginmoneygiving.com. You can search for The Customs House Trust Ltd or individual runners.