Two youngsters heartbroken by the deaths of a much-loved South Tyneside couple are putting their best foot forward in aid of a trust set up in their name.
Matthew Olley from South Shields and Martha Finnigan from Houghton-le-Spring will both be taking part in the mini Great North Run event on Saturday.
The pair aged six and five respectively, were already raising funds for Durham Hospitals Radio where they both present a slot named ‘Kiddies Corner’.
But following the death of Chloe Rutherford, 17, and Liam Curry, 19, in the Manchester arena attack, they wanted to honour the couple by raising funds for a Trust set up by their families to celebrate their lives too.
Since the attack in May, Matthew, who saw the teenager regularly, has been asking when he will see Chloe again.
His mam and Chloe’s Great Aunt and godmother Sharon said: “We lost our Chloe in the Manchester attack along with her amazing boyfriend Liam. They were meant for each other.
He still doesn’t understand totally and asks when he will see her again.Sharon Olley
“Matthew and Martha had already decided to run for a charity they are involved in, but also wanted to honour Chloe and Liam. They both asked if they could run for the newly formed Together Forever Trust.
“Matthew was used to seeing Chloe every day as we live over the road and it has hit him hard,
“He still doesn’t understand totally and asks when he will see her again.”
The Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust aims to support those who have a passion in performance or sport, to nurture their talents through the help of bursaries.
The families are keen to help inspiring performers or sportspeople to fulfil their potential – Chloe had a gift for performing while Liam was a talented cricketer.
Durham Hospital Radio broadcasts online to patients, their friends and families and is run by a team of 15 volunteers. Martha has been a regular on the station since she could talk and helps out at fundraising events.
It is a station which featured Chloe and her friend being interviewed and singing as Two2Notes.
Funds raised for the radio is put towards helping to buy new equipment and music.
It will be the third time the youngsters will take their place on the starting line up.
Martha, who has known Chloe since she was a baby said: “I never met Liam but if Chloe liked him, he must be lovely.
“I’m going to run very fast for them, me and Matthew want to win.”
To sponsor Matthew and Martha visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/matthewandmarthasgreatnorthrun