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Dereham runner Neil gets set for London Marathon

PUBLISHED: 11:32 20 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:32 20 April 2018

In the running: Neil Irons of Dereham is all set for this year's London Marathon.

In the running: Neil Irons of Dereham is all set for this year's London Marathon.

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Gina Long celebrates more of Norfolk’s charity superstars - including one of our many local London Marathon runners this weekend.

Louis Brabin from Thetford will be cycling 155 miles to help pay for his uncle Bob's medical treatment in California.Louis Brabin from Thetford will be cycling 155 miles to help pay for his uncle Bob's medical treatment in California.

With the London Marathon taking place on Sunday April 22, thousands of inspirational runners are making their way to the capital for one of the largest charity events of the year. Having run the marathon last year, it really is one of the best days out for the runners and spectators alike. There are so many great stories and reason’s why people have chosen to run.

Neil Irons, from Dereham, has lost a third of his total body weight, shedding an astonishing 6.5 stone in two years after choosing to follow wife Tracy’s healthy eating regime. He is running on Sunday to raise money for Children with Cancer UK charity.

An all-female charity concert will take place at St Andrew's Hall in Norwich in June to raise money to fight cancer.An all-female charity concert will take place at St Andrew's Hall in Norwich in June to raise money to fight cancer.

Last year, the couple tackled together the Norwich 10k raising more than £1,200 for Norfolk charity The Big C. Neil says: “Crossing the finish line is my dream. I’ve now lost 6.5 stone and feel a million dollars.”

Good luck Neil and to all those participating, as they set out to conquer the 26.2 miles tomorrow.

Prom National Pick a Dress: Some of the dresses which were on offer at the Break charity event.Prom National Pick a Dress: Some of the dresses which were on offer at the Break charity event.

Cycling for treatment

Aside from running, many people opt to use other sports as a method of their fundraising activity. Louis Brabin, a die-hard Arsenal fan from Thetford, is planning to cycle 155 miles over two days to raise funds towards his Uncle Bob’s medical treatment.

Louis’s uncle was recently diagnosed with motor neurone disease, a crippling and degenerative condition. Money raised will help Bob be treated by a doctor in California who specialises in treating people with incurable conditions using the latest advancements in medicine.

The cycle ride will begin in Thetford - where Bob used to live - and end in Brighton. However, the twist is that Louis will be stopping at Spurs fan ‘Bob’s beloved White Hart Lane on the way. The football rivalry has not deterred Louis’ spirit, he says, “I would cycle to California myself if it meant that my uncle would have a longer, better quality of life.”

Please do visit www.gofundme.com/robert-andrews to find out more about Uncle Bob’s story and to donate.

Norfolk all-female orchestra and choir concert

Sunday June 10 will see 180 women unite to raise funds for Cancer Research UK at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich in what is thought to be Norfolk’s first-ever all-female choir and orchestra.

The event is the brainchild of music teacher Ann Smith, who thought it would be a great idea to bring together Norfolk’s talented female musicians to raise money for Cancer Research UK, in particular breast cancer in Norfolk. The afternoon is designed to be enjoyable for all, with music that guests will recognise from popular films and shows such as Mamma Mia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Phantom of the Opera, The Lord of the Rings and Jurassic Park.

The choir and orchestra are made up from singers and musicians across the county, conducted by Margery Baker. Ann says, “Everybody really wanted to be involved as it’s such a unique event and a great cause that touches many women’s lives.”

Ann and the team are hoping to fill St Andrew’s Hall to its 700-person capacity and raise a great deal of funds for breast cancer research. To purchase tickets, please visit www.ticketsource.co.uk/women

Young people sleep under the stars to raise awareness of youth homelessness

During March, an annual Sleep Easy event took place under the stars for YMCA Norfolk, to raise awareness of young people sleeping on the streets. Around 65 students, volunteers, members of the local community and business people took part with the aim of raising £15,000 for the charity.

Some slept in cardboard boxes, sports halls and even in a hand-made shelter in their back garden. All participants realised what a struggle it is for those sleeping rough and described the event as an ‘eye-opener’.

Nick Plater of Norwich School, said “it gave the pupils an opportunity to express concern and empathy with those less fortunate than themselves.”

Congratulations to all who took part.

Prom Nation

It is approaching the time of year again where the younger generation are revising hard for their GCSEs, to then be awarded by attending their school’s prom night, celebrating the end of exams and life at school.

In preparation for prom night, it is all about finding the right dress. However, this is not always cost-effective for parents. On April 12, girls from all over Norwich gathered at Bar 11 in the city to attend the Prom Nation Pick a Dress Event.

With more than 500 top quality, preloved and brand-new prom dresses on offer for a donation to the Break charity, along with goodie bags and the opportunity to have your hair styled and nails painted by the kind sponsors, it is no wonder young ladies flocked from all over Norfolk to attend this special day. Salons from across Norwich attended to showcase their work and offer discounts to attendees for their prom hair and make-up.

A great effort by all to raise funds for a fantastic local charity, helping to change the lives of young people.

Please do share your charity stories with me, email all details and a photo to: gina@geewizzcharity.com Follow me on Twitter @geewizzgee1

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