A WOMAN is running a half marathon to help a charity which is being forced to close its doors because of the pandemic.

Eleanor Thomson, from Guiseley, received counselling and support from Breast Cancer Haven after she was diagnosed with the disease in 2018. Since then she has raised money for the charity which helped her

This weekend she will run a half marathon in Leeds to help raise funds to see the charity through its final weeks, and is also hoping to take part in the Great North Run in September.

She said: "Like many other charities, income plummeted during the pandemic and services have had to be wound down. We're really fortunate still to have the Maggie's and Robert Ogden centres at St James Hospital, but the Haven offered a unique place away from the hospitals."

She added: "The more we can raise by the end of June, the better. That's why I've taken on an extra half marathon this weekend along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal - after running one in Kent over the bank holiday that Dame Kelly Holmes had organised."

In an announcement in April Breast Cancer Haven said: "If you are currently accessing our services then your appointments will still be delivered up until the end of June. We will honour all existing individual therapy appointments and endeavour to honour existing visitors’ full treatment plans if possible."

It added: "It is with huge sadness that Breast Cancer Haven’s Board of Trustees have made the extremely difficult decision to suspend operations for the time being. This means we will be pausing the delivery of our live online service and with great regret, putting all our staff at risk of redundancy.

"In common with many charities around the world, as a result of the pandemic, our income has decreased significantly. At the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, we were forced to close our five centres and other in-hospital face-to-face services. Since then, we have been providing our services online.

"Despite a series of cost cutting measures including saying goodbye to valued colleagues, we are not able to continue normal operations at this time. This means that we will be pausing the delivery of our live online services that have helped around 1,800 people by providing over 10,000 appointments since lockdown began in March 2020.

"We have the most wonderful team of staff, self-employed therapists and volunteers and we are hugely grateful for their hard work and dedication over so many years."

It said: "We still have a further £100,000 of direct costs to raise in order to deliver these services up until the end of June. We continue to appreciate and welcome any support you can give us.

"We will make further announcements regarding the future of Breast Cancer Haven as soon as possible."

Vist https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EleanorThomson6/4 to support Eleanor's fundraising.