This family-friendly event starts and finishes in Central Park in Chelmsford, taking in some of the city’s beautiful parks and is suitable for all ages and abilities.
Seven of The J’s dedicated team of specialist nurses, healthcare assistants and support staff have already signed up, including Nicola Davis, whose brother has been supported by the charity.
Nicola, 45, from Braintree, was inspired to volunteer and then join the charity’s care team as a healthcare assistant after experiencing first-hand the care it provides to young adults across Essex when The J’s Hospice helped her family to care for her younger brother, Paul Lawrence.
She will be joining her colleagues to walk the 3K in his memory, along with her daughters Maia (aged 17) and Millie (aged 14) and her nephew Jude Putt (aged 10).
She explained, “My brother Paul was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy. He had cerebral palsy from birth and this condition meant that he was totally dependent on our parents for everything and lived at home with them all his life. I have another brother, Neil, and a sister, Katie, and we are a very close family. We did everything together and Paul was at the heart of it all. We lost him on the 24th March 2016 when he was 35.
“The J’s Hospice provided nursing care to Paul. The care team was a great support to us, particularly during his last few weeks and when we were all together with him at the end of his life. We just wouldn’t have got through it without The J’s.”
The family feels a real bond with The J’s Hospice which inspired Nicola to join the charity in 2017.
“Working for The J’s is a passion, not a career for me. I work with an amazing team and I feel like I’m making a real difference to the families that we work with.
“As one of The J’s team of healthcare assistants, I visit the young adults that we care for in their homes. We look after them there or take them out for a few hours, so they get to do something they enjoy while their family has some free time.
“I know that when you have a child with complex needs, you can’t just be spontaneous – small things like going out for dinner require so much organisation. Also, when the parents are working so hard to give their child the best possible life, they don’t always get to have quality time with their other children or any time for themselves when they need a break – which is why giving these families some free time is really important.”
The 3K Family Fun Run is raising money for The J’s Hospice which supports young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families across Essex, in the comfort of their own homes and in the community. The charity provides specialist care including tailored nursing and emotional care, advice and social activities to help them live life to the full, however short.
Nicola and her family are excited about joining her colleagues at the start line of the 3K at 10.30am on Sunday 20th October.
Nicola added, “I can’t run so I’ll be walking the 3K with Maia, Millie and Jude. We’re doing it in memory of Paul and getting sponsored so we can something give back to The J’s. We’ve raised £185 so far and we’d love to raise more. My sister, Katie Joyce, has set up a fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving so please sponsor us. It’s going to be a fun, family-friendly event so it would be great to see lots or other people signing up to take part and support The J’s Hospice too.”
The 3K Fun Run is perfect for all the family: you can walk, jog or run the course and everyone who takes part will be given a medal when they cross the finish line. Prams and well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome. It only costs £5 per person to take part and children under five can join in for free. Online registration closes on Wednesday 16th October at 5pm and you can sign up on the day at Central Park, 9.15 – 10.15am.