After watching The Great North Run on TV last year, Olly Murs and his sister Fay made a pact that they would enter it this year together. So here they are, a month away from embarking on their first half marathon together.

They will be running the famous 13.1 mile run from Newcastle to south Shields on Sunday 9 September to fundraise for two charities very close to their hearts.

Brainwave Children's Charity
Olly is a patron to Brainwave, a small local charity close to the family home in Witham, Essex. With three centers around the UK, Brainwave helps children with disabilities and additional needs to achieve greater independence. The children they help have a range of disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy and genetic conditions such as Down's syndrome. They have specialist therapists, who work with the children and their families to devise a personalised program to help unlock each child's potential. Olly has worked closely with Brainwave over the last 8 years, helping to raise the profile of this small charity, and has seen the benefits first hand.

Mind
The charity Fay will be running for is Mind, the mental health charity. Mind provide advice & support to empower anyone experiencing mental health problems whether that be anxiety, alcohol & drug dependency, eating disorders, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress, post-natal depression or many more.

Having developed social anxiety after experiencing bullying as a young girl in senior school, Fay has firsthand experience of suffering from a debilitating mental health condition.  Mind campaigns to not only raise awareness of mental health, but to offer support, advice and promote understanding. A shocking statistic is that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem every year. There has been a lot of awareness raised about this over the last few years, in the music industry especially, but there's still a lot of work to be done. Suicide is the leading cause of death in young people, so clearly, we need to be doing more to combat mental health issues. 

Every penny raised by Olly and Fay running the Simplyhealth Great North Run will go a long way in helping both of their chosen charities, Brainwave and Mind.

Neither Olly or Fay are natural runners, so they have already started training to make sure they can at least cross the finish line and not completely embarrass themselves!

To sponsor Olly and Fay for the Simplyhealth Great North Run, visit their JustGiving page here  and keep an eye on their socials where both Olly and Fay will be documenting their training efforts and their progress on the day!

Olly will also be releasing an exclusive and limited edition summer t-shirt fundraising campaign for Brainwave to be sold on yellowbirdproject.com from 17th August.