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News Report Page 5 of 12
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Southport solicitor tackles Ironman challenge head on for Headway

A local solicitor has completed a notoriously gruelling Ironman triathlon, to raise money for a brain injury charity. Gemma Roberts, a serious injury lawyer at Southport-based Fletchers Solicitors; the UK's leading serious injury and medical negligence law firm, undertook a 2.4 mile swim and 95 mile bike ride, followed by a marathon.

Thanks to generous donations from Gemma's family, friends and colleagues, an impressive ₤1,866 has been raised for Headway Preston and Chorley.

Gemma spent 12 months training with Wigan's Invictus Triathlon Club in preparation for the Ironman event, which took place on 15 July 2018, in Bolton.

Despite injuring her Achilles tendon during the marathon, Gemma successfully finished what is considered 1 of the toughest 1 day sporting events in the world.

Gemma decided to support Headway Preston and Chorley after becoming familiar with the charity through her work at Fletchers. Headway offers support, services and information to brain injury survivors, including many of Fletchers' clients, their families and carers, as well as to professionals in the health and legal fields.

Gemma said:- "When I started this journey, I set a target of ₤1,000 thinking that it might be a bit ambitious. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be able to reach nearly ₤2,000. There were so many highs and lows throughout the experience, but raising such a fantastic sum of money for an amazing cause has made it all worthwhile. The support on the day from my family, friends and club mates really helped to spur me on, and the feeling when I crossed the finish line, with the announcer shoutin:- 'Gemma Roberts, you are an Ironman,' was phenomenal."

Sarah Charnley, chairperson for Headway Preston and Chorley, said:- "I am delighted and honoured that Gemma chose Headway Preston and Chorley as the charity to benefit from her Ironman challenge. Gemma's Ironman journey involved gruelling hours of training through all weathers, and during this time she also qualified as a solicitor. How she managed to complete so many miles despite injury and the phenomenal heat is a mystery, but she was so determined, and her account of the day itself captivated us all."

Ground broken on new Lifeboat Station

THE Trustee Directors of the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust are pleased to announce that they have broken ground on the construction of their new Lifeboat Station. Kath Wilson, founder of the charity that operates the Southport Lifeboat, officially broke ground with Julian Cassidy of Nobles Construction Limited whilst in the presence of the other Trustee Directors and Project Consultants, on Monday, 30 July 2018.

"This day has been a long time coming" said Kath, who started the charity after her son Geoffrey lost his life off Southport in 1987. "There were times when I thought it would never happen, but I'm so proud to finally see construction under way."

A larger, purpose built station not only means that both of Southport's lifeboats and their respective launch vehicles can remain coupled together, but will also allow room for the much needed facilities our crew have been lacking for so many years; all at a location closer to the beach.

Nicola Goldup, Trustee Director of Southport Lifeboat said:- "Our crew do extraordinary work whatever the hazards they may face and will now have a building which will enhance the service we currently provide. The building is in a prime location and will significantly reduce launching times, provide much needed facilities to store and maintain equipment, and provide crew and visitor welfare facilities."

The Project team have considered the Trusts operational requirements and lifecycle of materials throughout the design process to ensure requirements are future proofed. This will enable the Charity to plan the growth and development of its search and rescue operations for the long term.

The new station will be constructed with materials that are marine environment tolerant whilst sympathetically nestling into its surroundings. Peter Piorun, Quantity surveyor of Nobles said:- "Nobles are not only excited but proud to be selected as the Principal Contractor chosen for the Construction of Southport Lifeboat Station. "We look forward to working alongside Southport Offshore Rescue Trust to provide what is set to be an outstanding addition to Southport's Shoreline."

Completion of the ₤1.4 million building is expected to be in March 2019.


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