Hospice Staff Ready for Festive Fun Run

Nursing colleagues at a local children’s hospice will be pulling on Santa costumes to raise money for the charity they work for.

Seven members of the Care Team at Little Havens will be participating in Havens Hospices Run Santa Run fundraiser at Wat Tyler Country Park in Basildon on Sunday 4th December. Along with hundreds of others ‘Santas’, they will be raising vital funds to support specialist hospice care for children and young people across Essex.

One of those running is Melissa Howell, a Senior Nurse in the Little Havens Hospice at Home team. She has been working at the children’s hospice since 2000 in different roles supporting families in the community and at the hospice. After completing the London Marathon in October in aid of the charity, she can’t wait to pull on her running shoes again for another fundraiser.

She said, “Being part of the Care Team at Little Havens, I get to see first-hand the difference the charity makes for local families. Taking part in Run Santa Run is a great opportunity for the Care Team to get together to celebrate the start of the festive season and support a cause that’s close to all our hearts. It costs more than £52,000 a week to provide our specialist hospice care to children and young people in the community. We can’t wait to run together, donning our Santa suits for a fun day of festive fundraising. Events like these ensure we can continue being there to support more families in future.”

One of the families the hospice supports is Ava Chaplin’s from Chelmsford. 14-year-old Ava has been visiting Little Havens for respite breaks with her family since the beginning of 2010. Ava has severe brain damage because of a life-threatening infection which caused excessive fluid on her brain when she was born. Her condition means she requires 24-hour care.

Ava, along with her parents Danny and Liz and her big brother George, have taken part in the event over the past few years to support the Little Havens.

Liz continued, “Over the past few years we have done the Santa Run a few times because it is always around Ava’s birthday so it feels like the perfect way to get together with family, celebrate Ava and do something fun. We all have varying levels of fitness, but it doesn’t matter even if you walk the entire way round; it’s fun just to get dressed up and do something that reminds us all what Christmas is truly about.”

“We would not have coped without the support Little Havens have given and continue to give our family. We are desperate to ensure they can continue to be there for all the families who need them when the worst happens.”

With a choice of either a 2K or 4K, Run Santa Run is the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit with friends, family and colleagues.

Alongside the two fun runs, the big man himself will be inside the Blunts Cottage grotto. There will also be toy sales, Christmas Carols and festive refreshments to enjoy while supporters soak up the Christmassy atmosphere.

Tickets cost £15 for adults, £8 for children and a family ticket (two adults and two children) is £35. To sign up today visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/santarun.  Online registration closes on Thursday 1st December but participants can sign up on the day of the event.

For those who would rather join in the fun closer to home, a virtual Run Santa Run option is available. Grab some festive fancy dress and complete 2K or 4k either on your own or with family and friends, anytime between 2nd – 9th December. It’s free to register but the charity asks supporters to fundraise between £25 and £150, depending on how many are participating. A medal will be awarded to those who reach their fundraising target. For more information visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/virtualsantarun

Published 28th November 2022

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Little Havens Care Team members in festive fancy dress