Royal Navy officer prepares for marathon challenge in hopes of raising thousands of pounds for the armed forces charity that supported her friend

A NAVY officer from Denmead is set to take on a marathon challenge in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for a cause close to her heart.

By Emily Jessica Turner
Thursday, 29th July 2021, 4:36 pm

Petty officer Naomi Doyle, 50, will run 26.2 miles in the London Marathon this October as she raises money for Armed Forces charity SSAFA

Since joining the Royal Navy in 1998, Naomi has served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.

She decided to raise money for SSAFA after the charity supported her long-term friend who was seriously injured in 2015.

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Naomi Doyle as she trains for the London Marathon

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Naomi, who originally trained as a chef at South Downs College, said: ‘SSAFA helped my friend out in a number of ways after he suffered a serious head injury on board HMS Protector and was repatriated to the neurological unit in Birmingham.

‘As well as providing financial support to him, the charity helped me with accommodation throughout my stay to be near him.

‘I therefore chose to raise money for SSAFA so others in the Armed Forces community can continue to benefit.”

‘I really believe in SSAFA and what it does and would like to help ensure it lasts for many years to come.’

SSAFA has been providing lifelong support to forces and their families since 1885.

Naomi has also entered the London Landmarks Half Marathon on August 1, and only two days later will take on the London Marathon, beginning near Blackheath in Greenwich and finishing at Buckingham Palace.

She added: ‘This is my first marathon and what a marathon to start with.

‘I’ll be raising money for SSAFA in a variety of ways. I’ll be ascending both Cader Idris and Mount Snowdon in Wales to encourage donations as well as hopefully taking on other marathons.

‘I’ll also be treading the running machine at my HQ and baking up snacks for donations. I'd love to raise at least £5,000 for this amazing charity, therefore any contribution would be gratefully appreciated.’

Naomi was inspired to join up by her parents’ Royal Navy service.

Her late dad, Raymond, was a petty officer chef and her mum, Margaret, was a leading steward.

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