The 13 pandemic heroes being commemorated at each Great North Run mile marker

Every mile of the Great North Run 2021 will be dedicated to key workers who went above and beyond during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A local key worker will be commemorated at each mile

At every mile marker along the course there will be a billboard featuring a local everyday superhero.

It’s being called The Great North Thank You Campaign and aims to “shine a light on some of those who gave up their time, worked through impossible challenges and put others first over the last 18 months”.

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Some of the heroes were nominated by their organisations and others were cherry-picked by a panel that included Olympian and Great North winner Dame Tanni Grey Thompson and HSBCS Deputy Regional director Mark Wake.

Mark said, “It was an honour to hear more about the work and dedication of these incredible individuals.

“We are delighted to be able to support the Great North Run and to be part of a team celebrating the amazing achievements of the people of the North East. 

“Ordinary people doing extraordinary work is something that inspires us all and we are so looking forward to seeing the Great North Run back in full flow this year.”

Great North Run founder Brendan Foster has also backed the ‘fitting’ campaign as the perfect way to say thank you.

He said: “We’re so pleased to be able to recognise the achievements of these inspiring individuals at this year’s event.

“The Great North Run has always been a day where we celebrate the power of collective effort and endurance, but these people have kept that momentum going, under incredibly difficult circumstances over a longer period of time than anyone could have imagined.

“It’s right and fitting that we recognise them on Sunday and give the whole region the chance to say ‘Thank You’.”

Locals will have the chance to admire the billboards, before they make their way out onto the course, at the Life Science Centre this weekend.

They will be on public view from 12:30 pm on Friday, September 10 until the early evening on Saturday, September 11.

The locals featuring on the billboards are as follows:

Dr Mickey Jachuck, Consultant Cardiologist South Tyneside District Hospital

Dr Mickey Jachuck

Mickey and his team provided 24/7 cover for critically ill patients with Covid during the pandemic

Senior Sister Jade Trewick, Ward 49, Royal Victoria Infirmary

Jade Trewick

Jade heads a respiratory support unit created in just 12 weeks to care for patients with severe Covid infection.

Community Staff Nurse Dorathy Oparaeche, Northumbria Healthcare

Dorathy Southworth

Dorathy took care of some of the most vulnerable people in our region, in their own homes, during the pandemic.

Deborah Southworth Occupational Health Team Lead, Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Deborah Southworth

Deborah and her team put initiatives in motion to support staff through the hardest days of the pandemic and beyond.

Louise Damms, Home Manager, Cheviot Court, Care UK

Louise Damms

Louise managed the home through three Covid outbreaks, where she sadly lost residents.

Jill Maguire, Family Time Service Manager, South Tyneside Council

Jill Maguire

Jill and her team innovated to ensure looked after children could stay close to biological relatives.

David Craker, Civil Enforcement Officer Newcastle City Council

David Craker

David volunteered his time to deliver food packages and worked at the Civic Centre Covid testing site.

Ian Banks, Operations Manager, Gateshead International Stadium

Ian Banks

Ian and his team pivoted to help their community by turning the stadium into a food distribution warehouse for those in need.

Tracey Henton, Community Champion Morrisons Cowgate

Tracey Henton

Tracey facilitated the Food Bank Initiative where premade packs were available for shoppers to add to their weekly shop and donate as they left the store.

Brenda Parker, School Caretaker Harton Primary School South Shields

Brenda Parker

Brenda didn’t take a single day off during the pandemic, working tirelessly to ensure the school was safe for staff and pupils.

Jan Heslop, Junior Head Coach, Elswick Harriers

Jan Heslop

Jan worked tirelessly to keep the junior section of the club training and engaged throughout the pandemic.

Honorata Devlin, Fundraiser

Honorata Devlin

Despite being diagnosed with Cancer in 2019 Honorata raised around £5,000 for St Teresa’s Hospice in Darlington during the pandemic.

Sergeant Tom Power

Tom Power

Mental Health Volunteer Tom, is currently serving with the Royal Dragoon Guards, he volunteered for Mental Health Concern during the pandemic.