Great North Run hat trick for Vicki

Vicki Sharpe sees what a difference great care and support makes to the lives of disabled people, every day – so she decided to give some extra help by tackling the Great North Run (GNR). Vicki is locality manager for Livability North East, which supports 35 people, across a range of ages and abilities, with services including residential care and independent living.

When did you take up running, Vicki?

I’m not really a runner, not really even a fan of running! I always came last in athletics at school but the GNR was on my bucket list. This will be the third time I’ve run it.

Why did you decide to do the Great North Run?

Well, it’s right on our doorstep, the atmosphere is fantastic and it’s a great opportunity to raise some money for Livability North East.

How often do you train?

Not as often as I should! But when I went for a run a couple of months ago, I bumped into one of the people we support locally, and that reminded me why I was doing it and helped me go another mile.

What’s been the worst thing about training?

The fact that I’ve only managed to run four miles so far, so I’m still a little short of the 13.1 – eep!


What difference do you see really good care and support making to the lives of the disabled people Livability supports?

It means that people are in control of their own lives, empowered and living active lives to the full. I love to see people achieve, and there have been many proud moments from the North East – the team have supported people to move out of long-stay hospitals and into a much more independent life, or we’ve been able to provide emergency support when a family member could no longer be a carer.

What do you help people to aim for in life?

On the skills side, we help people to enrich their lives by learning to use technology like Google voice commands or iPads, or daily living skills like making their own sandwich or a drink. We’re very big on enabling people to be out, active and involved in the local community. We’ve recently had a big party celebrating 25 and 20 years’ support in two locations and we want to be here for many more years.

How are you feeling about the big day?

Looking forward to it at the moment – but nerves will creep up as it gets closer. If anyone’s considering still signing up, do it! It’s a great team to join.