Belinda Neild, an incredible art teacher from Salford, is attempting to be the fastest woman to run a marathon dressed as an item of stationery in the Guinness World Record book.

Belinda has already raised an amazing £16,200 for our hospice over the last few years in memory of her Mum who was a patient at the Little Hulton site and sadly passed away there in 2011.

She is aiming to raise £20,000 by the end of the year, with her Guinness World Record attempt being the tenth marathon she’s ran. Belinda is running the London Marathon on Sunday 2nd October to raise money for our hospice. Belinda says: “Running a marathon in costume is nothing compared to what the patients have to go through.”

After losing her father-in-law, Kevin Neild, and aunt, Sandra McStravick, shortly after her mum passed away from cancer, Belinda decided to run through her grief. She achieved a PB last year at the London Marathon completing it in 3 hours and 23 minutes.

If running one marathon wasn’t enough, this was part of a triple marathon challenge where Belinda ran three marathons in three weeks and raised nearly £4000 for our hospice.

This is not the first time Belinda has run in fancy dress, she has completed marathons dressed as a Rubik’s cube, Forest Gump and a sumo wrestler! Belinda is currently the Guinness World Record holder for the fastest item of stationary dressed as a red crayon, which she achieved in 2019. But this isn’t enough, and drawing from inspiration, she is aiming to beat her record time this year dressed as a pencil.

Belinda’s loved ones were all patients at our Little Hulton site, but she is determined to raise money for both of our hospice sites. Belinda hopes that her fundraising will help support end of life palliative care at our hospice and our Build It Together campaign.

Our campaign is raising the final £2 million that our hospice needs to build a brand new hospice in Heald Green, replacing the current Victorian building which is in urgent need of replacement as it needs continual and costly repairs.

This will see our current hospice in Heald Green replaced with a purpose-built facility costing over £21m in total with larger landscaped grounds and many improvements including 21 individual en-suite private bedrooms.

The campaign, which launched in June, has already raised over £400,000 and people and businesses across Greater Manchester are being urged to get involved.

Belinda says: “St Ann’s Hospice is a charity close to my heart. I always want to give something back to the hospice as they cared so well for my mum, father-in-law, and Aunt in their final days.”

“The staff do an amazing job; I remember walking into St Ann’s to see my mum and she had the biggest smile on her face. That is a memory I will never forget.”

Belinda has been using the title ‘the fastest pencil in Salford’ and ‘the sharpest pencil in Salford’ with her fundraising which has been helping her gain sponsors. She says: “Hopefully I can raise the vital and much needed funds for the hospice. The funds I raise will support the new building to transform the end-of-life care for Greater Manchester residents.”

Belinda says if she achieved her Guinness World Record book attempt “it would be in memory of my mum and all my family members lost and still battling cancer”.