Emmerdale star Chris Bisson is putting on his running shoes to join people from across Greater Manchester in a special challenge to raise money for St Ann's Hospice.
The actor has pledged to take part in the charity's Sixty in 60 challenge, which was devised by long-term supporter Mitchell Brough (pictured).
The hospice is appealing for over sixty people to join Chris and Mitch to take part in this year's Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run – and for each participant to aim to finish the 10k in 60 minutes.
Chris said: “St Ann's is a really special place that's been looking after our community for nearly 50 years. It's difficult to explain just how wonderful St Ann's is and I'm hoping that by raising awareness as well as money, I can help spread the word about how St Ann's is a warm, welcoming place that wraps its arms around people when they're at their most vulnerable. Although the care to patients and families is completely free, it actually takes a huge amount of money to be able to do that.
“I'm hoping that everyone will get behind us on this run and we can try and make a real difference. My fiancée, Rowena, has just signed up and I'm hoping to rope in some of my Emmerdale and Corrie colleagues too. Come and join us!”
Challenge organiser Mitchell Brough, from Fallowfield, who has taken part in the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run six times in aid of the hospice, explained how he came up with the idea: “I wanted to find a really creative way to inspire as many people as possible to join Team St Ann's and take part in the run this year, and I think that the Sixty in 60 challenge will do just that. If 60 people each raise £200 it will mean £12,000 for the hospice, which I know will make a huge difference to the local patients they care for.
“January is always the time of year when people set themselves new goals, and what better way to get fit than by joining a fun challenge that also helps raise money for local people who really need our support? Aiming to complete the 10k in 60 minutes is a challenge but is certainly accessible to most people if they start to train now.
"We're happy to support people along the way, and the positive spirit of the Team St Ann's runners always spurs me on whenever I run to raise money for them. We're also welcoming runners of all abilities, so even if you don't think you will make the 60 minutes target, please sign up anyway – we'd love to have you as part of Team St Anns.”
Returning for a 17th year, the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run gives participants the chance to experience an event like no other in the heart of the city centre, with 10k and half marathon courses known for their buzzing atmosphere and incredible local support.