Coal Aston’s Ferndale Garden Centre director runs half-marathon in aid of best friend

Helen Watson, her husband Richard and their friend Dave practise for the half-marathon.
Helen Watson, her husband Richard and their friend Dave practise for the half-marathon.

An award-winning cafe director is running a different kind of operation this weekend - a half-marathon in aid of Myeloma UK.

An award-winning cafe director is running a different kind of operation this weekend - a half-marathon in aid of Myeloma UK.

Helen Watson is embarking on the Sheffield half-marathon for the first time, spurred on by her best friend and businesswoman Jaqui Copley who was diagnosed with cancer of the plasma cells last year.

She said: “It was ironic - only a few months before we had been cheering her on to a well-deserved win at the Funny Business fundraiser for Weston Park cancer charity. Months later, it is Weston Park and the Hallamshire Hospital who are saving her life,” said Helen.

Helen, 50, immediately decided to do whatever she could for Jaqui. “When I see the effects of the stem cell treatment Jaqui has gone through and how optimistic and determined she is to come through smiling, it makes me determined to raise as much as possible to help fight this terrible disease.”

She added: “I am running the half marathon for the first time on April 12 with my husband Richard and our friend Dave. The pain I feel trying to run 13 miles is nothing to what Jaqui has already endured and she keeps me going.”

Helen is one of three directors at Ferndale GardenCentre, Coal Aston, whose coffee shop was voted cafe of the year in The Star newspaper.

“I am so proud of Helen,” says her brother in law and co-director Neil Grant, the gardening show co-host on BBC Radio Sheffield.

“Ferndale staff have responded brilliantly and we immediately started a series of fundraising events, collection boxes and are about to launch a special Myeloma scone!

“Helen is now 71% of the way there and just needs another £500 to make her £2000 target. We urge anyone who can, to go to her Just Giving page to support.”

Myeloma UK is the only organisation in the UK dealing exclusively with myeloma.

They provide information and support to patients and their families and help myeloma patients live longer, with a better quality of life by accelerating the discovery, development of and access to new treatments.

Helen has a Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/HelenDWatson/