Seaside Half Marathon Raises £150,000 for Local Hospice Care

Southend’s premier running event has attracted more than 2,200 runners to the sunny Southend seaside, raising close to £150,000 for local hospice care.

Runners travelled across the county, country and overseas for the Havens Hospices Southend Half Marathon – sponsored by Utilize PLC – which took place on Sunday 9th June. The race started and finished in Shoeburyness, taking in views of the famous coastline.

Through registration fees and sponsorship, it’s estimated that the runners helped close to £150,000 for Havens Hospices, beating last year’s total, which will ensure the charity can continue caring for local people of all ages living with incurable conditions.

The first male across the finishing line was Paul Whitaker and the first female over the line was Katie King.

This year’s race was started by one special guest, Dottie Rees, 7, who uses the services of Little Havens. Dottie, from Grays, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in September 2020 and has had over 60 sessions of chemotherapy in London and her local hospital.  Dottie continues to live with the effects of her brain tumour, having regular MRI scans and tests for her hearing and vision.

Thanks to the money raised through events like the Southend Half Marathon, the hospice provides weekly counselling sessions to Dottie at school with one of Little Havens’ trained children’s counsellors.

Dottie and her family were also there on the day to cheer on her Grandad Jim who was participating in the race to show his support for the charity.

Havens Hospices also led a clap of honour at the start of the race for its late colleague Jane Hopkins, who died earlier this year. Jane led the event organisation for the Southend Half Marathon for several years and was well-known within the local running community.

Lucy Lock, Community Engagement Manager at Havens Hospices said: “The support we have received for this year’s event has been incredible, reaching record numbers since the pandemic.

“Havens Hospices must raise more than £124,000 each week and we rely on fundraising events like this to keep our care services running for those who needs us, whenever they need us.

“It’s a real community effort to host such a big event like the Southend Half Marathon. Our thanks go to our volunteer marshals and pacers, our sponsors Utilize Plc, water station sponsors London Southend Airport, Essex & Suffolk Water and Finish Line Fund. Not forgetting the team of sports therapists, our medical team EMATS and the local residents and businesses for their incredible support on the day.”

Havens Hospices has also released a statement following a tragic emergency incident at the event. You can read the charity’s statement here. 

Article published 11th June 2024

Photo credit: Grant Williams Photography



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Several Southend Half 2024 medals hanging in the centre of the image