A team of parishioners are hoping to raise £3,000 for Catholic aid agency Cafod and to support a former pupil of their local school in his recovery, by taking part in the Great North Run on Sunday.

Keith Pitcher, a recently-retired university director of sustainability from Ilkley, is running with seven fellow parishioners from SS John Fisher and Thomas More in Burley-in-Wharfedale, in the famous half-marathon.

The team have so far raised more than half of their £3,000 target. This will support Cafod, who do much to alleviate poverty and hunger in the world, and Callum Hall, a former pupil of St Mary’s in Menston in his recovery.

Callum was paralysed in 2012 after contracting a rare infection that damaged his spinal cord.

Keith was set a challenge by his four children to get fit and do something for charity nine years ago and he has only missed one race since.

The 60-year-old said: “I couldn’t turn down the kids’ challenge all those years ago and it was certainly a challenge. But the first time I ran it I was so inspired by the stories of hope of the other runners I met I’ve been hooked ever since.

“In 2011 I ran with my youngest son Edward – it was a great experience, despite the fact he beat me!”

Fellow team member Chris Inglehearn, a Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, is running in memory of his father Francois.

Also running with Keith and Chris are: Brendan Barrett, Tom Lally, Colin Robertson, Joe Thompson, Andrea Westhead and Dave Westhead.

To support the team visit: justgiving.com/TeamFisherMore.