A FAMILY from Cockermouth have been named as finalists in the fundraising team of the year category for the Go Cardless JustGiving Awards, after raising more than £32,000 for the MND Association through 18 fundraising challenges last year.

'Team Corinne' is made up of the Watson family including Corinne, her husband Paul, sister-in-law Liz and her husband, Chris, and his brother, Richard and wife, Jo. The family were inspired to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association after Corinne was diagnosed with MND in 2022, at the age of 42.

MND is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It attacks the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work. It can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually breathe. It affects more than 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time and has no cure.

The family, along with other family members, friends and Corinne herself, took on numerous challenges during 2023 including the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon.  Corinne herself took part in a fell walking challenge in June, climbing more than 3,000ft to the top of Skiddaw, the highest point in the Northern Fells.

Corinne, 43, said: “Soon after my diagnosis Liz approached me and suggested using JustGiving to raise funds for the MND Association on the back of her, my brother-in-law Richard and good friend Mark entering the Rob Burrow marathon.

"I knew I wanted to play my part and get out walking to raise money and we thought we might get a few hundred pound but the response from our friends and family was unbelievable. 

"We were inundated with creative, quirky, ambitious, fun and just plain crazy offer of fundraising activities. People really challenged themselves with some epic adventures.

"I’ve been especially proud of my nieces and nephews, my two boys and many of their friends who have taken part.

“To say I’ve been overwhelmed doesn’t capture the depth of my emotions and this award nomination for our team has really stunned me."

After being nominated by members of the public, the family were selected as a finalist by a panel of judges.

The eight winners will be announced at the ceremony which takes place at London’s Roundhouse on the evening of September 18. Winners will be presented with their official trophy by some of the biggest celebrities and fundraising legends in the UK.