Calne town clerk Linda Roberts will tackle the Great North Run in memory of Karlie Williams, a close friend who died at the age of 33 from oral cancer.

By taking part in the 21km run from Newcastle to South Shields on September 15, she will also raise money for Dorothy House, the hospice which helped to care for Ms Williams.

During her illness Ms Williams, who lived in Melksham, visited Winsley House, near Bradford-on-Avon, where staff offered palliative and respite care.

Dorothy House provides care free of charge to patients and families facing a life-threatening illness or bereavement. The majority of its care is provided in people’s homes, but it also runs an in-patient and day patient unit.

Ms Williams was diagnosed in June 2008 and after surgery she was given the all-clear, but the cancer returned with more aggression and her tongue had to be removed.

Her funeral, in May 2011, was attended by Mrs Roberts and staff from Dorothy House.

Mrs Roberts, who will be sponsored by Ms Williams’s parents, said she had known Ms Williams for more than ten years and she was one of her closest friends. She said: “I felt so cross about Karlie going and I wanted to do something.

“Anyone that’s gone through anything like this does feel helpless. I still feel angry because she was so young and we thought we had years ahead of us as friends.

“She was always very bubbly and was always the best at keeping in touch. If you were going through a tough time, she was a great support.”

“Everyone I’ve spoken to said Dorothy House is a good cause.

“They gave her palliative care and were a great support to her family, especially her mum who was her main carer.”

After putting down her name for the Great North Run, Mrs Roberts had to wait five months to hear if she would be successful.

Now she is training for the event and aims to run six-and-a-half miles two to three times a week.

Mrs Roberts said: “I run but I’ve always done it just to keep myself fit, I’ve never entered any races.

“It’s the biggest half marathon in the UK – they have more than 54,000 runners.”

To sponsor the town clerk, visit