Gemma Atkinson is preparing to run the Great Manchester Run this weekend and the radio presenter has revealed the real motivation behind the challenge.

Gemma, who is president of Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary in Edenfield, is fundraising for the six-mile run on May 26 and all donations will go towards Bleakholt.

The former Hollyoaks actress said she has already surpassed her £1,000 fundraising target on JustGiving.

She has also shared a post about a dog act the animal sanctuary, who has benefited from donations.

Bury Times: Mia, a dog being cared for at Bleakholt, needed an operation which cost thousandsMia, a dog being cared for at Bleakholt, needed an operation which cost thousands (Image: Instagram/@glouiseatkinson)

Gemma, 39, said: “To everyone who has donated so far for my run on Sunday, [the figure has surpassed £7,000].”

Posting to her Instagram account, Gemma shared an image of a dog called Mia who needed an operation that cost thousands.

Bury-born Gemma said: “I’ve been told today by a lady from Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary that some of it will help dogs like Mia.

“She was brought into our sanctuary with a mammary gland tumour and needed an urgent operation which costs thousands.

Bury Times: Gemma AtkinsonGemma Atkinson (Image: Bleakholt)

“Mia’s operation wouldn’t have been possible to help her without the staff and volunteers and donations we get.

“Every penny helps and you’ve made a difference. Thanks for helping us help them.”

Gemma and her partner Gorka Márquez are the stars of television show Gemma and Gorka: Life Behind the Lens. The second series aried this year.

The series gives viewers a glimpse into the couple’s family life as they welcome a second child to the family.

Gemma recently attended the opening of a Rawtenstall charity shop which opened in May.

The Bleakholt charity shops accept donations of furniture, electrical items, clothes, homeware and beyond. They are said to be home to “a lot of bargains” and all proceeds go towards taking care of animals at the sanctuary.