'She would help anyone' - daughter pays tribute to fun-loving mother
- Credit: Supplied/Roma O'Neil
A woman who ran a half-marathon for the same charity her late mother supported has paid tribute following her death.
Roma O’Neil alongside younger sister Tamara Thompson took on the virtual Great North Run for Children’s Cancer UK in September, the same charity that Audrey Hindle donated her birthday money towards prior to the run.
Audrey, who died aged 91 on December 8, was known to residents in her hometown of March by being involved in community groups and looking out for others.
“She was like the matriarch of our family,” Roma said.
“She was part of two painting groups, on neighbourhood watch, and was always interested in police meetings. She was also a member of March Conservative Club."
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Perhaps one notable memory Roma has of her mother was during a pancake race at the town’s FE Centre on Station Road, where she defied the odds.
“I think Hereward Radio ran a pancake race around 30 years ago at the FE Centre and she was probably one of the oldest ones running, but when she went into the final, she was running against men!” Roma said.
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“My mum was roller-skating in her eighties; that’s the sort of person she was.”
Earlier this year, Audrey joined Roma and Tamara for the final few steps of their fundraising challenge for Children’s Cancer UK, a challenge the trio received a wealth of support for.
It’s a moment that Roma and her family will never forget, made more poignant by a person who wanted to help where she could.
“I don’t think anyone had a word against her. She would help anyone,” Roma said.
“It’s not the end of an era, but we have lost a lot of the older people in the town.”
Roma and Tamara completed the 13.1-mile course in two hours, 56 minutes and 50 seconds, with Audrey joining the pair at the end.
Before the run, Roma said she and Tamara wanted to test themselves having not ran for "a couple of years".
After they finished the challenge, Roma said: “It was hot and we struggled near the end as we didn’t feel great, but finished in under three hours.
“Mum was waiting at the end and did a few steps with us. A big thank you to everyone who sponsored us.”