Sisters’ marathon effort raises £1,700

Christine, Lynn, Nikki, Kellie, Gail and Jaclyn.
Christine, Lynn, Nikki, Kellie, Gail and Jaclyn.

A team of sisters from Newtownabbey put their best foot forward to raise almost £1,700 for a mental health support charity during this year’s Belfast Marathon.

The six Bushell sisters, Christine, Lynn, Nikki, Kellie, Gail and Jaclyn, donated £1,692.09 to Aware after participating in the event on May 5.

Speaking to the Times, Lynn, who ran the whole marathon, said: “I’ve done five marathons before - two Belfast and three London - having raised over £12,000 for children’s charity, Whizz Kidz.

“We decided to run for Aware this year because of the growing concern and lack of awareness for depression and anxiety and bipolar in Newtownabbey. They were a great charity with super support and help.

“In the end, four sisters ran half a marathon each and Jaclyn ran the whole marathon. We will continue to support Aware in our future fundraising efforts. I’m starting up my own business ‘Devine fitness with Lynn’, which is personal training and I hope to do lots of fundraising in the next six months for Aware. We’re all looking forward to next year’s Belfast Marathon.”

Thanking the sisters for their charity drive, Lesley Wright, Community and Events Manager with Aware added: “It’s not very often you come across six sisters who all agree to run the Belfast Marathon or participate in a team relay. But here is a family who not only achieved completing this personal challenge, they also managed to raise an amazing £1,692.09 to support others.”

Detailing the work of Aware, a spokesperson for the charity said: “Aware provides free of charge an established network of 24 support groups. Support groups welcome people with depression and bipolar disorder including carers for people with the illness.

“Aware delivers mental health and wellbeing programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces. These programmes also include our suite of Mood Matters programmes, Living Life to the Full, Mental Health First Aid and Mindfulness.”