8 year old girl from Wallsend to run the Junior and Mini Great North Run for local charity ‘Support and Grow North East’

Ruby Jones, an 8 year old girl from Wallsend, Newcastle, is running the Junior and Mini Great North Run on Saturday 10 September to raise money and awareness for the local charity, Support and Grow North East.

The charity aims to fight poverty and social isolation within the community. Ruby’s mother, Ashleigh,  is a part of this charity and spoke to us about their involvement, the importance of their work, and how raising awareness will help to support.

“My sister in-law started the charity during Covid to help people in her little area. She realised from this how many people are actually struggling and living in poverty, so she set up the charity with her friends.

“I work in a school in a deprived area, so when my sister in-law asked if we wanted to join I couldn’t refuse.”

The charity provides trauma support, immediate crisis relief and attempts to tackle loneliness and isolation.

Ashleigh told us about the specific support the charity provides. “We put on free trips over the summer holidays. We’re doing Whitehouse Farm, Hamsterley Forest, Morpeth Park and Alnwick Gardens.

“We also work with a lot of Ukrainians at the moment, helping to provide them with spare clothing and providing English classes.

“We also deliver parcels to families. Shops like Co-Op, Morrison’s and Asda have lots of leftover food that is going to waste. We get this wasted food delivered to ourselves and then take parcels to people’s houses if they’re unable to go to the shops or are struggling financially.

“Sometimes I’m the only person they see once a week dropping their food parcel off and it’s just good to check in, make sure they’re okay and offer them help.

“Some families are a little bit ashamed and embarrassed but it’s important they know they’re not being judged. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Everybody needs help.”

Ruby will be running the Junior and Mini Great North Run to raise awareness for Support and Grow North East. It’s her first time taking part. Ashleigh spoke about the importance of raising awareness for this charity:

“At the moment we’ve been relying on Facebook market place looking for people giving away things for free. Then I organise to pick it up and deliver to those in need. Raising money and awareness will help to provide that extra bit of support as we don’t get any funding at the moment.”

Ruby will run on Saturday 10 September around Newcastle Gateshead Quayside for the Junior and Mini Great North Run.

It’s part of a fantastic weekend of sport in Newcastle, seeing thousands of people running in aid of fun, fitness and fundraising.

For more information about Support and Grow North East, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3644193922291343/?ref=share

For more information about the event, visit: greatrun.org/JMNorth