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​Chester-le-Street family goes the extra mile for the Stroke Association

Press Release   •   Aug 28, 2015 10:28 BST

A Chester-le-Street father will be joined by his family to take on the Morrisons Great North Run on Sunday 13 September 2015, to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association.

Father of two Alistair Townsend, 48, was inspired to run for the charity after his dad Gordon had a mini-stroke in March 2014, followed by a stroke three weeks later. This affected both Gordon’s movement and speech, and while he soon regained his mobility, his communication was a greater issue. Thankfully, 18 months down the road, his speech is also much improved.

Alistair will be supported by his friend Gavin Davies in the run. The duo have completed five marathons in five weeks between them earlier this year for the Stroke Association, in Atlanta, Brighton and London. They’ll also be joined by eight members of Alistair’s family, including his wife Clare and son Conor, to run alongside them on the day.

Alistair said: “We wanted to raise awareness and funds for the Stroke Association, which provides much-needed support for stroke survivors and their families. Following our marathon challenge earlier this year, the Townsend and Davies families wanted to add their support, so they have joined forces with us to raise even more funds for a brilliant charity.

“With help from my mam and the rest of the family, as well as therapists, physios and the support of the NHS, my dad is well on the road to recovery, but still with a little way further to go. Finish times are not important to us this year;, we just want to focus on raising as much money as possible to recognise the strength and character of our fabulous parents, and raise money for a very worthy cause.”

Liz Williams, Events Manager at Stroke Association, said: “With around 152,000 strokes a year in the UK – that’s around one every three and a half minutes – we’re so grateful to our fantastic supporters like Alistair who are raising funds for people affected by stroke. Alistair, Gavin and their families are truly going the extra mile for the Stroke Association and we look forward to cheering them on as they speed from Newcastle to South Shields.”

To sponsor Alistair, please visit For more information about the Morrisons Great North Run, please visit

The Stroke Association is the UK’s leading stroke charity which campaigns to improve stroke care; supports people to make the best recovery they canand funds ground-breaking research to change the lives of people affected by stroke. For more information about stroke, visit or call the helpline on 0303 3033 100.

A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 152,000 strokes in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.  

Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and together we can conquer stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at