Runners joined together to take part in the 24th annual Race4Business event to raise much needed funds for Essex-based charity Havens Hospices.
Havens Hospices welcomed participants from 96 local businesses to the 5K Race4Business event on Wednesday 5th July, starting and finishing in Central Park.
Race4Business has become a significant annual fixture in the business community calendar and raises money for the charity which provides care and support to all age groups living with incurable conditions at its two hospices and in the community.
Radio Essex Presenter and Patron Su Harrison welcomed runners at the start of the race along with PureGym Chelmsford which provided a warm-up routine for the runners. Ahead of the race starting, a moving speech was given by a mother from Chelmsford whose child and family use the services of Little Havens, Essex’s only children’s hospice.
Sarah Boreham’s daughter Evie, 13, has an extremely rare genetic condition called CDKL5. CDKL5 affects neurological development, and for Evie, this means she can’t walk, talk or feed herself, so she relies on Sarah for everything. The family has been using the services at Little Havens for seven years and her family’s business R.C. Boreham has been taking part in Race4Business for 16 years. She thanked runners for raising vital funds, explaining the importance of the care the hospice provides.
Sarah said ahead of the race: “Having a baby for anyone is a life-changing event, everything changes and a love you never knew existed takes over. They become your whole world and you see yourself planning for their future. But for us, it was quite different. At just five weeks old Evie had her first seizure and from that day it opened up a completely different world, one I would have never thought I would be a part of. To be told your perfect little baby wouldn’t be who you dreamt they would be is heart-breaking, but somehow suddenly the bond between you becomes stronger and stronger and your fight begins.”
She continued: “When we were referred to Little Havens, my fears about a hospice soon disappeared once we arrived. I expected it to be a place of sadness but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Little Havens is a place full of fun, laughter, smiles and making the most wonderful memories. Everything that Evie and my son Max love is there in one place and they can share it together.”
Sarah told runners, “By taking part, you are making a huge difference, a difference to my family and many families like ours. You give us the opportunity to have time to recharge, pick ourselves up so we can go again. Little Havens gives me the chance to just be Mum, to do the fun stuff and push the medical side away for a little while.”
Evie’s brother, Max, 6, was on hand to countdown the runners starting the race and helped to give out the finisher’s medals at the end.
Following the race, awards were handed to the fastest teams with Running In Mind taking the top prize, Ground Control Limited in second, and Oxbury Chartered Surveyors in third. The prize for the Largest Team went to Fiserv with a team of 48.
The fastest male to cross the finish line was Tom Rehal from Running In Mind in 15 minutes and 1 second and the fastest female was Justine Sheekey from Running In Mind who ran the course in 18 minutes 54 seconds.
First male finisher Tom said: “Race4Business is a great event, seeing so many people getting involved and raising money for a great cause was a pleasure. As an athlete myself, any event that gets more people involved in running is exciting, its benefits are numerous, especially an event as well put on as this.”
Rossella Inguscio, Corporate Fundraiser at Havens Hospices said: “Thank you to every single business for joining us at Central Park to help raise vital funds towards our hospice care. The enthusiasm shown was fantastic, and the atmosphere was just brilliant. It is thanks to businesses like yours that we can continue to make every day count for the children, young people, and adults we care for across Essex, and offer them the specialist care they need and deserve.
“Thanks to the donations made by runners and supporters, our care is free of charge to all those that need us during the most difficult times.
“We would also like to pass on our heartful thanks and appreciation to all the volunteer marshals, Su Harrison for her usual entertaining commentary for our runners, PureGym Chelmsford and Sarah for speaking about her personal experience of the charity. And not forgetting our Race4Business 2023 sponsors Birketts, Tangent International, Gallagher, Fiserv, Aviary Developments, Kingswood Group and Rickard Luckin. It is thanks to your support the charity can put on these events and raise much-needed funds.”
Race4Business will be back next year with the date to be announced in due course. Follow Havens Hospices on Facebook @HavensEvents for all the latest announcements.
If you are a business and would like to support the work of Havens Hospices please contact the charity’s Fundraising Team at email@example.com
Published 10th July 2023