Pride of Britain 2023: Meet Regional Fundraiser of the Year finalist Susan Hopper

It is that time of year again where we celebrate those from our communities who have given their time to raise thousands of pounds to help others.

We've been searching for the ITV Border Pride of Britain Regional Fundraiser of the Year, and have whittled it down to four outstanding finalists.

Susan Hopper has raised £36,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

In 2017 her husband Tony, former Carlisle United and Workington Reds midfielder, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. He died less than two years later.

Susan said: "Once it's diagnosed. It's just a fatal disease with no cure. There's very, very little treatment. And it was just it just feels a bit of loss, really, when you're just faced with a diagnosis.

"You know, he just turned 40. He was a ex-professional footballer. He still played football, really fit and healthy. We had our whole life ahead of us and then suddenly hit with this awful disease.

“You sort of just go into that mode of like right okay, well, let's give something back. You know, we had a lot of help from the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Locally. We ran the Leeds Marathon and we organised a black tie ball early on in the year.

"And we've also done fundraising with local companies to get to that amount. You need somewhere to reach out. And the charity office, that's quite a small charity. We felt like they gave a lot to us, so we wanted to give back.

“I don't expect any recognition for what I do because I just do it, you know, and I enjoy doing it. It's hard work. And you do have to dedicate a lot of time, especially when you've got a young family. It's all about organisation."

Susan's son Jack helps her out with the fundraising and often says that she is his inspiration.

He said: "I think it's amazing how she's supporting lots of people support MND.

"Sometimes I didn't do the marathon but I have helped a lot well I've tried to help a lot with everything that she does and so I help that I can keep on helping with everyone with MND to help support them and help them feel normal."

Dominic McDonough, from the Motor Neurone Disease Association said: “I think Sue has been absolutely incredible. She's got so much support and she's helped numerous people across the area.

"She's raised so much money and she's raised so much awareness, which is so incredibly, incredibly important. And we're really, really grateful for everything with Susan. She's been amazing."

The regional winner will be announced during ITV Border's Lookaround 6pm news on Friday 15 September.