Hospice hails its Great North heroes
900-STRONG TEAM OF ALL AGES RAISES £160,000 FOR ST OSWALD’S
THIS year’s Great North Run weekend proved to be a hugely successful one for St Oswald’s Hospice – with more than £160,000 raised for the Newcastle-based charity.
Around 450 children represented the hospice in the mini and junior events on Saturday, September 8, on Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside, while 450 adults took on the 13.1-mile Great North Run the following day.
Together, the 900-strong team – St Oswald’s biggest ever and made up of runners of all ages and abilities from first timers to seasoned pros – raised the much-needed funds for the hospice, which provides care and support to local adults, young people, children and babies with incurable conditions.
St Oswald’s staff and volunteers took over the British Airways Quayside Seaside for the day of the Mini and Junior Great North Run, bringing along Elmer, the star of their upcoming 2019 art trail ‘Elmers Great North Parade.’
Elmer greeted the runners and posed for photos while the hospice team gave out sweets and high fives to the 450 young people running for the charity.
Better Leisure sponsored the young runners’ T-shirts which they wore on the day, and their staff volunteered at the event as part of the St Oswald’s cheering squad.
Alice Maguire, aged seven from Gateshead, ran her fifth Mini Great North Run for St Oswald’s. She raised £340 for St Oswald’s Hospice by asking friends and family to sponsor her efforts, and was the third girl to finish in her race.
She was presented with her trophy by World Champion Vivian Cheruiyot – who was the first woman home in the following day’s Great North Run.
Alice said: “I absolutely loved doing the Mini Great North Run and this was my favourite year as I got on the podium and met a real world champion!”
Alice said. “The best part was raising my biggest ever total for St Oswald’s Hospice which is such a lot of money! Everyone was really kind and sponsored me and I made sure I recorded a little video to thank those who donated.”
Sunday’s Great North Run was another St Oswald’s success as their biggest ever team of adult runners, sponsored by intu, took on the halfmarathon challenge.
A team of staff and volunteers manned the hospice charity village tent near the finish line, giving the runners their support and the chance to enjoy a post-race massage, sweet and savoury treats and meet up with friends and family.
Andrew Moir from Dunston ran with wife Lee-Ann, while his two children Charlie and Evie took part in the junior race the previous day.
He said: “I was so impressed by the incredible team of staff and volunteers who’ve supported St Oswald’s runners over the Great North Run weekend. Although a lot of praise is rightly heaped on all of those who ran, I’d like to say the biggest thank you to everyone who did such a brilliant job of looking after the team of runners.
“From the encouragement you get as you run, to the hero’s welcome you receive once you finish, it all adds to the amazing experience of the Great North Run. There was no greater feeling than finishing a half-marathon to be greeted by a cheering crowd of St Oswald’s volunteers. Their support and encouragement really does make the world of difference.”
Anita Ball, of St Oswald’s Hospice, added: “Undoubtedly, one of the biggest events in the St Oswald’s Hospice calendar is the Great North Run weekend. “I would like to say a huge thank you on behalf of our staff, volunteers, patients and families to the 900 Great North Runners and Mini and Junior runners who took to the streets proudly wearing their St Oswald’s T-shirts and vests.
“It was a fantastic weekend, and it was humbling to hear our supporters sharing the stories of why they are taking part.
“As always we are extremely grateful to our runners and their supporters as without you we simply couldn’t provide our services to local families, when they need us the most.”
Anyone who would like to run for St Oswald’s Hospice in the 2019 Great North Run can contact the fundraising team on 0191 246 9123 or visit: www. stoswaldsuk.org/great-north-run-2019 Alice Maguire, who ran the Mini Great North Run
The Moir family – Lee-Ann, Evie, Charlie and Andrew – who all took part in the Great North Run to raise money for St Oswald’s Hospice