An ambulance dispatcher for EMAS is preparing to run the London Marathon to help save more lives as part of her 50th birthday celebrations.
Christine Bamford of Ilkeston, who has worked in the EMAS 999 control room for 18 years, only began running three years ago.
However, she will now attempt her first marathon on 22 April in aid of St John Ambulance and she hopes to raise £1,800 to help the charity continue to save lives.
Christine decided she wanted to run a marathon as part of her 50th birthday celebrations, and was delighted when she secured a place through St John Ambulance.
She said: “I really enjoy running and as I turn 50 this year I wanted to see if I could step it up and run my first, and only, marathon.
“I’m nervous about it, but I’m also really excited. I’m looking forward to having a big plate full of chips and steak afterwards.”
Christine’s role at EMAS involves dispatching ambulances to emergencies across Derbyshire, and in her time in the role she has regularly worked with St John Ambulance when covering football matches, Ashbourne’s Shrovetide, and other events.
Therefore, she was keen to support them by raising funds through sponsorship.
She said: “St John Ambulance is a fantastic organisation. They are so keen to share their skills and make sure everyone knows first aid, and they regularly help us out if something happens at an event we are both covering.”
Christine began running aged 37 using the ‘Couch to 5k’ app, and gradually progressed to 10k races, joined Notts Women Runners club and completed several half marathons.
Since being accepted for the London Marathon, Christine has been running three to four times a week to prepare for the 26-mile challenge. On 22 April her partner and best friend will be there to cheer her on in her endeavour.
So far, Christine has raised almost £1,000 of her target through a fashion show, a curry night and sponsorship.
She will be hosting another fashion show following the marathon to help raise a bit more cash for St John Ambulance, which will take place at 7pm on 3 May at The Sportsman pub in Long Eaton. Tickets are £5 on the door. If you would like to donate to help Christine reach her target, you can do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Christine-bamford3