I welled up when he told me he can now live his life

Cheryl was lucky enough to sit next to 1980s pop star Sinitta, pictured here at a previous event   Picture: PA

CHERYL GIBBS: An embarrassing moment at a celebrity shindig with Sinitta

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This week my Great South Run training stepped up a notch, as I’ve been getting increasingly apprehensive about the race.

It’s not that I’m not fit enough to do it.

More that, having struggled with injury and allergy-related breathing issues, every time I put on my trainers to go out for a run my brain screams at me to stop running.

So last week I began training with the lovely Max from 24/7 Gym in Gunwharf, who got me fit for my first GSR in 2012.

As I told him (once I got my breath back), one of the most important things he taught me the first time round was the ability to ignore the voices yelling at me to stop and just get on with it.

I’m confident that with 12 weeks until the big day I’ll be back on top form.

It’s important, because I’ve finally chosen which charity I’d like to raise money for by doing this year’s run.

I had some really wonderful people get in touch with me about their respective causes.

They included the Elizabeth Foundation at the QA Hospital, which helps hearing-impaired babies and children to hear and speak; Portsmouth Mind, which helps people with often crippling mental health issues; the Hayling-based Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation; the Compass Carers Support Group; Friday Carers; The Fellowship; and a number of national charities that give a lot of help to local people.

It was a hard choice, but in the end I’ve gone for Canine Partners based near Midhurst in West Sussex.

It’s a charity that pays to train dogs to help often severely disabled people.

The dogs are able to pick things off the floor, answer the front door, get the telephone and even help people get undressed and into bed.

I met a man who said he was close to suicide before getting a CP dog.

As I listened to him talking about the freedom he now has to live his life, I couldn’t help but well up a bit.

I’m raising money at just giving.com/GSR14, but all these charities are fantastic.

More people should know about the crucial work they do for us here in the Portsmouth area.