In lieu of Havens Hospices’ Run Santa Run event, which normally sees hundreds of supporters dressed up as Santa running in Wat Tyler Country Park, this year the charity is asking people to run or walk 5K anytime, anywhere until 13th December.
So far over 50 people are participating with some already starting and completing their Festive 5K.
One of the supporters signed up is Davina Mackenzie from Leigh, who will be running her 5K with her stepfather Tony this weekend dressed as elves along Southend Seafront. Havens Hospices is a charity very close to her heart, after Havens Hospices supported her family through a devastating time in their lives four years ago.
In October 2016, Davina and her family sat with her Grandmother as she died after a slow deterioration of her health. At the time Davina was 38 weeks pregnant with her third daughter, and that morning went to the hospital because she couldn’t remember the last time she felt her baby move. Sadly she was later given the news that her baby had passed away.
Davina said, “Within hours I lost both my grandmother and my daughter; the devastating impact on our whole family was huge. Havens Hospices’ offered us the support we needed to get through such a difficult time – they were able to provide free counselling to myself and my family.
“The grief counselling we received gave us the space to work through our painful experience and process our shock. They were there for us when we needed them the most, and for that we are forever grateful. We will be running in memory of my grandmother Margaret and my daughter Seraphina and running to bring light to other families in their darkest times.”
This will be Davina’s first running event she has taken part in and has only just taking up running recently, she said, “I taught myself to run during lockdown – I’d never made it round the running track once at school so I decided to give the ‘Couch to 5K’ a go. I now run three times a week but the Festive 5K will be my first running event I have taken part in.”
Another participant who will be taking part in their own Festive 5K is Havens Hospices’ Spiritual Care Lead, Martin Hill. Martin in festive fancy dress, will be walking from Leigh, along the seafront to Southend High Street this weekend. He said. “‘As a member of staff at Havens Hospices I am aware that our work is dependent on the communities we work in – they know the value of our hospice care. We are a part of our communities and not apart from them so participating in the fun of fundraising and being seen to hold the same value of our hospice care is important.”
Havens Hospices ‘Festive 5K’ is a part of the charity’s ’12 days of Christmas’ campaign where the hospice charity is calling on the community to help raise £24,000 to help fund the cost of care at Little Havens and Fair Havens on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
To support Havens Hospices this festive season visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/12days
Published 9th December 2020