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Family and friends turn out to remember and to donate

£7,000 and counting for Emmie

By Claire Tennyson

LISBURN Road woman Paula Delaney crossed the marathon finish line amidst  emotionally charged scenes with her family and friends on Monday.

Paula – the mother of Emmet, who was knocked down and killed in the family driveway just before Christmas – said she was “overwhelmed” by the amnount of people who turned out to support her chosen charity, New Life Counselling.

Paula, along with 300 others, all wearing t-shirts bearing Emmet’s picture, completed the marathon in the relay, fun run and walking events. £7,000 has so far been raised, with more money to come.

Among the supporters were teachers and classroom assistants from St Bride’s Primary School running in memory of the tragic five-year-old. Paula felt running the marathon was the perfect way to remember ‘little Emmie’ who was a huge sports fan, even at such a young age.

“It was absolutely fabulous to be involved in the marathon along with so many others who turned out to support us,” she said.

“Everyone who said they would come turned up and it  was so overwhelming to see all their faces at the finish line and afterwards in St Bride’s Parish Hall.”

Despite the terrible weather, Paula described the occasion as an “awesome” experience and one she will remember for a long time.

“I completed the final leg in 45 minutes, which I was very proud of, especially in that cold, blustery weather.”

Paula added: “The main thing about running the marathon was to raise funds for New Life Counselling who have helped our family through this difficult period and I want to thank all those who have donated.”

Principal of St Bride’s,  Paul Carswell, said: “We wanted to use this opportunity to raise money for worthwhile charities. We settled on splitting the money between two local causes, the NI Children’s Hospice and New Life Counselling, the charity that has been providing invaluable help to all the family over the past few difficult months.”

Chief Executive of New Life Counselling, Karen Collins Neill, said she was delighted by the support.

“It is touching to see the community really supporting Paula and her team of runners to raise money for New Life Counselling,” she said. “The money raised will help us deliver these much-needed services to more families who require them.”

Those involved in the ‘Run for Emmie’ gathered afterwards in St Bride’s Parish Hall to celebrate the massive achievement.

Paula added: “Because the weather had been so miserable it was important to have the event afterwards so I could get speaking to everyone and thank them for their unfaltering support.”

Support Paula on her Just Giving page at www.justgiv


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