A FAMILY is running up a cash boost for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) in memory of a loved son.
Family members of apprentice engineer, Jason Burden, are preparing to run the Great North Run (GNR) in aid of GNAAS for the third year in a row.
Dad Trevor Burden, 17-year-old sister Rachel Burden and cousin Aimee Ferguson, from South Shields, will tackle the GNR in memory of Jason who tragically died after a work accident at Hendon Docks, Sunderland in December 2011.
GNAAS attended the scene but due to his injuries he passed away en route to hospital. Jason would have been 21-year-old in June this year.
Trevor Burden, a GNAAS volunteer, said: “We are so grateful to the air ambulance for what they did to try and save Jason and we are just glad they were by his side. This is why we raise money for them through charity nights, football events and supermarket bag packs.
“There are lots of Jason’s friends running in his memory and staff at Asda where his mum, Maria, works too. It really is a tribute to Jason and shows how well-liked he was.”
Jason’s cousin, Mrs Ferguson, said: “The charity are not recognised enough for the service they provide, the dedication of the medical team, the availability of the helicopters and the funds needed to be able to keep the three helicopters in service costing £4m each year. The GNR is going to be a challenge but one we’re looking forward to.”
The GNR is in its 34th year and continues to inspire generations to hit the streets and raise money for worthy causes. Jason’s family have all taken part in the half marathon to raise funds for GNAAS each year since his death.
Mr Burden and Mrs Ferguson, both local taxi drivers, hope to drum up support during their cab fares.
“I will have sponsor forms in my taxi so I hope my customers will help me out. My 10-year-old daughter, Aliyah, will also be running the Junior Great North Run to support the air ambulance”, said Mrs Ferguson.
Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS, said: “It’s great to see the continued support we receive from Trevor, Maria and the rest of Jason’s family. They are leaving a wonderful legacy in his memory and we want to thank them for all of their hard work. We are able to continue doing what we do because of challenges like this.”
You can see the family’s training progress here.