Runners do the district proud on the gruelling streets of London

RUNNERS from the Horsham district triumphed in Sunday’s London Marathon.

Debby Newman, daughter of district councillor Godfrey, dominated the gruelling 26.2 miles to raise more than £6,500 for the British Heart Foundation.

She ran in memory of her mum, Val, who died from heart disease last year and was well known in Horsham as well as for her work for East Surrey Hospital in Redhill.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

On March 26 a new state-of-the-art Simulation Suite was officially opened and named in honour of Val.

The Newman Suite is East Surrey Hospital’s first dedicated medical simulation suite provides an exciting new training facility for staff. It acts as the hospital’s stage for recreating common and uncommon clinical scenarios in an environment designed to replicate the clinical setting.

Proud father Godfrey said: “Today on this sad day for the family when Val Newman’s ashes are to be finally laid to rest, the family are still thrilled for Debby completing the London Marathon in five hours 29 minutes. It would have been quicker and within 5 hours had there not been long queues at the portaloos!

“She is still stiff and has blisters from her efforts. We are all so proud of her, knowing she was doing it to help prevent what we have had to endure with someone with undiagnosed heart disease.”

A spokesperson for the hospital added: “Val was extremely passionate about patient safety, led on patient safety week and introduced patient safety stories to the Trust. The suite has been named after Val in tribute to her commitment to patients, and also to inspire others to continue in her way of thinking and working.”

You can still donate by visiting or make a cheque payable to British Heart Foundation and either take it to your local BHF Shop or post it to: British Heart Foundation, Greater London House, 180 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 7AW.

Meanwhile, an Ashington father has raised more than £1,400 for Sussex Air Ambulance by running two marathons in just eight days.

Brett Coleman, 34, decided to raise funds for the life-saving charity after a neighbour was rescued by the helicopter earlier this year.

Amazingly, he had never run before completing the Brighton and London marathons. He completed the London run in five hours and 26 minutes.

He said: “By mile 11 I was hanging and I was dragging my way through it. After completing the Brighton marathon I thought London was going to be easy. How wrong was I!

“The crowds at Brighton were awesome but in London I’ve never seen anything like it. The crowds were thick all the way round and they definitely pulled me through.

“The London course is much flatter and I thought much faster but when I got half way round my knees started to go. I was in real pain.

“Most people think I was a bit barmy for doing two marathons in two weeks and I can concur with that. Will I do one next year? I won’t do two, I can tell you that.”

Brett, of Willow Way, was aiming to raise about £500 for Sussex Air Ambulance, based near Horsham, but has almost trebled his target.

You can still sponsor him at where where family and friends have left messages of support.

Sussex Air Ambulance carries a doctor and critical care paramedic who can carry out advanced medical procedures at the scene of an accident or medical emergency.

Each emergency call-out costs an average of £2,500 and the service relies almost entirely on public donations.

Also running for the worthy cause was 20-year-old Laura Fitch of Horsham.

Laura raised £700 for the charity in memory of family friend Matthew Russo who was taken ill at school in September 2010.

Matthew was taken by air ambulance to the nearest paediatric intensive care unit at St George’s Hospital in London but passed away two weeks later.

Laura said: “It was my first marathon and I found it very hard. I had a pre-existing knee injury which started to hurt after about seven miles.

“The support from the crowd was really good and I couldn’t have asked for more. I want to thank my family and friends for cheering me on and everyone who donated.”

You can still sponsor Laura at

The former Tanbridge House School pupil is also holding fundraising events at local pubs including the Dog and Duck in Warnham on June 16.

Two years ago, she climbed Mount Snowdon in just under two hours and raised £1,000 for the British Heart Foundation.

In 2014 she aims to scale Mount Kilimanjaro with Matthew Russo’s mother Bridgette for Sussex Air Ambulance and the Matthew Russo Foundation.

Congratulations also go to Paul William Arnold from Horsham, who raise £750 for St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley. You can still donate by visiting