Hospice hails its Great North he­roes


The Chronicle - - News -

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

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