A GARDENING store manager is taking on a 10 kilometre challenge to provide mobile chemotherapy units for Cirencester and the surrounding area.

Paul Hilliam, 52, manager at Dobbies Garden World in Cirencester was diagnosed with neck cancer last year. To raise awareness and funds to tackle the life-changing disease, his three sons, Doug, James and Ben took part in a fun run, dressed up as women.

“I was so proud of their achievement and really wanted to support them on the day,” said Paul. “But due to the treatment I was receiving at the time, I was not well enough.”

Now, one year on, Paul feels he needs to take on a challenge himself and is taking part in a 10 kilometre run at Badminton this September.

He hopes to raise £1,000 and is already half way there with 20 donations. His sons last year had a target of £500 and smashed it, raising more than £1,500.

Last year Paul’s colleagues at Dobbies donated £1,000 to his sons, half of which went to the head and neck unit at Churchill Hospital in Oxford where Paul underwent two major operations, followed with chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions.

Dobbies chooses a charity every year to support and this year’s is Hope for Tomorrow, a national charity with a branch in Tetbury, providing mobile chemotherapy units to the local area.The organisation aims to bring cancer treatment closer to patients’ homes, helping them avoid the stress of busy oncology centres.

The race has been organised by Hope for Tomorrow and everyone involved will be fighting to raise money for the same vital cause. The event allows participants to run 10 kilometres or walk four.

Support Paul before his challenge on September 14 by visiting uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PaulHilliam or by popping in to the Cirencester store.