A 60-year-old woman is to lace up her trainers and run her ninth Great South Run later this month.

Julie Stratton, from Andover, took up running when her husband died and has not been able to stop since.

The former chair of the parent teacher association at Knights Enham Junior School has been taken on eight Great South Runs, two London Marathons and one Brighton Marathon.

Raising around £6,000 for good causes included Mencap and Riding for the Disabled, but this year Julie will be running to help Frankie Jackson, from Andover, who was born with Down’s Syndrome, and now needs specialist equipment for her bedroom, including upgrading her bed and safety measures.

Frankie’s mother Donna has become an advocate for people with Down’s Syndrome and blogs to an audience of more than 17,500 people on her page called Frankie says relax about T21.

Mother of two Julie said: “I started following them on Facebook and it just went from there, I became more and more interested, and I went and saw Donna at Icknield School summer fete to say that I would like to run for Frankie.”

And the warehouse employee began raising money using her love of racing and helping others, despite having arthritis in her knee and told not to run.

“I’m told I’m not allowed to run, so I jog and walk. People think I’m mad, I keep telling myself this is it then it is one more race and one more, I get down there and have soar feet and soar legs, but I like helping people.”

Speaking about the Great South Run, Julie said: “It is not a little race, but with the adrenaline, crowds and warm up session - it is such a buzz. I look forward to it, I can’t say I enjoy going out and training, that is the worst but it is exciting to get down to Portsmouth and join the line.”

So far Julie has raised just over £400, but hopes to be able to raise more to help before the race on October 20.

Donna said: “For us we were a little taken back as we are usually the ones to raise money for charities important to us! It also made me worry as Frankie isn’t without much so what would we use the money for?! When I started taking to Julie more she made it so clear that what she was doing had to be for Frankie. It has come at a time where we as a family are about to move house so we decided that any money raised would go towards her new bedroom.

“Julie is an incredible woman who is clearly loved by many. We honestly can’t thank her enough for what she is prepared to do.”

To donate to Julie’s mission, go to gofundme.com/f/running-for-frankie.