Port to Port volunteers sign up and help out

CONNECTED: Port to Port volunteers Ann Grimshaw, of Cardiff South, and Nikki Garland, of Metford.

CONNECTED: Port to Port volunteers Ann Grimshaw, of Cardiff South, and Nikki Garland, of Metford.

THE bond between long-time friends Ann Grimshaw, of Cardiff South, and Nikki Garland, of Metford, has never been stronger.

They met 25 years ago through their boyfriends at the time and have remained close friends.

Shortly after Mrs Grimshaw was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2013, the pair started to volunteer at big community events as a distraction from the cancer treatment.

"Volunteering has really helped me get back on my feet," Mrs Grimshaw said.

"I get to learn new skills, I get to meet more people.

"I also had a lot of support from strangers [after the cancer diagnosis] and felt I needed to give back."

They volunteered their time at the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games for 10 days in December last year, and this month as the "pink ladies" in the Newcastle Colour Run five-kilometre fun run.

Next on their to-do list is to volunteer at the inaugural Port to Port mountainbike race, which starts later this month.

The four-day race will travel through Port Stephens, the Hunter and Newcastle.

Mrs Grimshaw said volunteering in events such as Port to Port helped strengthen communities and bring people together.

"The Port to Port was such a great opportunity to give back and showcase Newcastle," she said.

■ Port to Port MTB will held from Thursday, May 29, until Sunday, June 1. For information about volunteering, email sally@porttoportmtb.com or phone 0447 836 125.

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