Young runner 'Super Sophia' steps out to help veterans
Like tens of thousands of other keen runners, Sophia Hockaday is counting down the days until September 12th - the date of this year’s Great North Run.
However, Sophia - or ‘Super Sophia’, as she is known to her friends and supporters, is just three years old.
In fact, she has only very recently turned three and will be one of, if not, the youngest participants in this year’s Great North Mini Run - meeting the qualifying criteria by just a few days.
The 1.5km fun run takes place on Newcastle’s quayside and finishes with a dash across Gateshead Millennium Bridge.
First major event
Sophia is no stranger to fundraising, having taken place in sponsored toddles before.
However, this is her first major event and she is aiming to raise £50 for Durham-based Veterans at Ease - the military mental health charity run by veterans for veterans.
Sophia’s mother, Kristy-Jo says: “We are so proud of Sophia, her excitement about the event is contagious.”
“She is an active child who loves the outdoors, and exploring woodland looking for the Gruffalo. Since getting her race-day training shoes she runs everywhere in them. Although she doesn’t really understand the concept of charity yet, she has been talking about running fast in the race to get pennies to help.”
Adds Kristy-Jo: “We chose BT MyDonate as aside from the card fees the charity gets 100 per cent of the money and Gift Aid and it’s easy to post a link on Facebook and Twitter.”
Veterans at Ease is committed to helping veterans, serving military personnel and their families deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat stress related issues.
An RAF veteran herself, Kristy-Jo chose to support Veterans at Ease having seen colleagues suffer from PTSD’s devastating symptoms.
The charity was founded by army veteran Garreth Murrell after successful treatment for PTSD that he’d lived with for 14 years.
Making a difference
Garreth says: “Sophia is a shining example of how each of us can make a difference to someone else whatever our age. As a charity we support not only veterans with mental ill-health following military service but also their families as they too often suffer from the symptoms of PTSD. It is great to see veterans’ families supporting others.”
He adds: “Our main reason for using BT MyDonate is that it’s commission free so those who give know exactly how much is going to their charity of choice. It’s also very easy service to use and understand - for both the charity and donor.”
Super Sophia has her own fundraising page at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/sophiahockaday1.