A RESOLUTE mother is top of the pops after raising a bumper charity cash windfall after completing her first-ever Manchester marathon spurred on my her favourite tunes.

Helen Rowland from Dobcross completed the 26.2 mile course in 5:25:39 seconds, supported part way by her brother David Cunningham, who rode a cycle alongside playing her favourite tunes to help keep her on track.

After notching up more than £2,900 for Diabetes UK, she said: “Among the tunes David played was ‘I Feel Good’ by James Brown. He played this several times - when I really didn’t feel good!”

Helen is chief executive of Focus-Trust, a multi-academy trust with schools based in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and West Yorkshire.

She chose to direct her fundraising efforts towards Diabetes UK as, in August 2014, her youngest son, Thomas, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes UK fund research into systems to make life with Type 1 diabetes as straightforward as possible and, as a result, Thomas, now aged 13, benefits from a continuous blood glucose scanner and an insulin pump.

Helen said the help for Thomas and her family continue to receive from Diabetes UK has been “a huge support in ensuring he is able to live life as healthily and as actively as possible”.

She said: “While training for this marathon, I had a lot of time to think and reflect on life and I’m extremely grateful to Diabetes UK for supporting Thomas, and all other people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

“Knowing all funds raised will help support even more people and their families gave me the determination to complete this mammoth challenge.”

Maria Whittaker, Diabetes UK regional fundraiser, added: “Our much-needed work wouldn’t be possible without the determination and generosity of our incredible fundraisers.

“We are extremely grateful to Helen for her hard work – running a marathon is no mean feat.

“Her huge fundraising effort, achieved with the fantastic support of her local community, will help fund ground-breaking research, care services and campaigns that can change the lives of those living with diabetes.”

And Helen added: “I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported me and contributed to my fundraising efforts. It was really uplifting to have so many family and friends cheering me on around the route.

“I have very touched by all the support I received from Dobcross Coffee Shop and from the congregation from my church, Holy Trinity, Dobcross.”