The Bishop Fleming Great West Run

A FORCE for good

Welcoming FORCE Cancer Charity back to the Great West Run for another year.

We recently spoke with Chloe Richardson, Fundraising and Events Manager at FORCE Cancer Charity, our Gold Charity Partner at this year’s Great West Run, to catch up on their plans for the year and how you can be a part of Team FORCE on Sunday 26th May.

“FORCE are an independent community charity, and we provide free information and support to anyone affected by cancer, via our centre in Exeter and a number of local hospitals” Chloe told us. “We are a vital link to countless people in the local area who have been affected by a cancer diagnosis”

At its core, FORCE upholds the belief that people deserve the best possible care and treatment, which for them also includes being in-person, free of charge, and as close to home as possible. FORCE are a charity that strives to make sure that anyone, at any stage of their cancer journey, feels supported and understood during an incredibly difficult and uncertain time. They are also committed to improving patient care by funding local research and equipment.

Like many charitable organisations, FORCE are a charity whose work relies heavily upon local donations and fundraising efforts and it’s why the charities fundraising efforts are so important. With a team of over 220 runners already registered for the Great West Run this year, 2024 marks a milestone in the charity’s involvement with the event. Thhe money raised by Team FORCE in May will be crucial in allowing FORCE to continue providing their accessible, supportive, patient-centred services.

“Imagine getting a cancer diagnosis and having nowhere to turn for help. Fear, isolation, distress and uncertainty are just some of the overpowering emotions that come when you hear the words “You’ve got cancer.” Luckily FORCE Cancer Charity is on hand in Exeter to support anyone whose life has been turned upside down by this dreadful disease.” Chloe tells us. “We’re here to help you and your loved ones through every step of a cancer diagnosis, its treatment and aftercare. We offer counselling, one-to-one and group support, complementary therapies, benefits advice, relaxation and mindfulness sessions, exercise guidance and expertise on coping with hair loss.”

With no regular government or NHS funding, FORCE are only able to build the support they offer to thousands of people every year thanks to the generosity and tireless efforts of the communities they serve. “We are overwhelmed by the number of people who have signed up to run for us on May 26th and the money they raise means we can continue to provide all those vital services to people right here in Devon. We cannot thank them enough.”

Team FORCE still have places available at this year’s Great West Run, and anyone wanting to join them can sign up for free with a minimum fundraising pledge of just £75. All runners receive comprehensive support with their training and fundraising, a running vest as well as cheer and support stations on route on event day.

“We’re thrilled to be welcoming FORCE back in 2024” says Event Director, Ash Fisher. “Chloe and the team work incredibly hard each year to deliver these crucial services in the local area and we can’t wait to see the largest ever Team FORCE taking on the race in May. There’s still time to sign-up and fundraise for FORCE, along with a whole host of other local and national charities, and it’s been a privilege to see how the Exeter and Devon communities come together each year to raise incredible sums of money for charity”

Chloe finishes our chat by saying: “If you need that extra bit of motivation, just think of the massive difference you can make to the people we know and love dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Together we can build cancer support that makes a real impact in our community.”

You can sign up to run for FORCE at the Great West Run now here.