A HEALTHCARE worker from near Wem will be donning her running shoes this year by taking part in the London Marathon.

Amanda Cheeseman gained her place in the marathon through a ballot for staff at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH).

She has only been at SaTH since last March, having landed a new role of clinical support worker with the Bariatric Team and has pledged to raise at least £2,000 for SaTH Charity from her marathon place.

Amanda said that has her job role involves giving advice on healthy living, including physical activity and exercise, taking part in a marathon is the perfect way to inspire others.

"Initially, many of our patients feel they are unable to undertake exercise because of their excess weight or health conditions," said Amanda. "Despite this, however, many start to make small changes and are soon taking part in their local charity running events.

"I think this is brilliant, and such an inspiration to others on their journey, including me.

"I wanted to follow their lead by challenging myself to achieve my goal of running in the London Marathon – including all the ups and downs along the way – and show them that I have been inspired by them and hopefully to inspire them in return to make goals and achieve them."

Amanda has running experience, but believes that she should have done more.

She added: "I have completed a half marathon, but then rested on my laurels for far too long. I needed to put my money – and body – where my mouth is and set myself a new challenge for 2020.

"The London Marathon is perfect. It's a long-term commitment that takes planning, dedication, determination, and tears and smiles to complete.

"I'm ready to give it my all to represent the Bariatric Department and SaTH to help support the people of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and mid Wales to lead more healthy lives and have fun while doing it."

Andrew James, from SaTH Charity, said: "We had some incredibly worthy entries for our one London Marathon place and choosing a winner was a very, very tough task.

"I'd like to thank everyone who applied and I'm only sorry we don't have more places to offer.

"Amanda spoke so eloquently about why she wanted to run the marathon for us that, in the end, she was the person we picked.

"We wish her every success in her training and, of course, for the day itself."

To donate to Amanda's fundraiser, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/2020