Supporters of Little Havens Hospice are all on Santa’s nice list after completing a fundraising Santa run at the weekend.
We held our Run Santa Run and Reindeer Race on Sunday 3rd December at Wat Tyler Country Park, Basildon, with over 500 people showing their support and entering into the Christmas spirit.
As well as the 5k Santa Run and 2k Reindeer Race, Father Christmas was in his grotto handing out gifts and there was also a festive toy sale.
32 year old Jessica Harrington from Basildon took part in Run Santa Run alongside friends and family as part of Darcey’s Dancers and Prancers. The group of 24 were running in memory of Jessica’s niece, Darcey, who was cared for by Little Havens in 2016. Darcey died on 2nd September 2016 and stayed at the hospice in their Woodlands Suite (specialist bereavement suite) until her funeral.
“Little Havens made such a difference to all of us, but especially my sister and brother-in-law. The care and post-bereavement support they’ve received from the hospice has helped them immensely through their grief. The Woodlands Suite made it possible for them to be with Darcey whenever they wanted to, before they held her funeral – it gave them a chance to really say goodbye. I know that Christmas will always be difficult for them both, but Little Havens have made it a little more bearable by being a place that they can turn to whenever they need them.
“Darcey would have loved to see us all dressed up as reindeers and Santa’s; so we decided to do the run as big group of us in her memory and to raise as much money for the charity who made such a big difference to our lives and Darcey’s life in the final weeks of her life. The care that Little Havens provides for not just the child, but also their family and friends is amazing and it is so important that they can continue to do this for other families across Essex.”
Darcey’s Dancers and Prancers have raised £784 so far.
It is hoped up to £15,000 will be raised in sponsorship from the event to help care for seriously ill babies, children, and teenagers at Little Havens Hospice.
Another family taking part was Reggie Milsom’s family. Reggie was cared for and died at Little Havens in 2013. Eleven year old Freddie, Reggie’s big brother gave a speech before both runs and was joined by his two other brother’s Kennie and Ernie to countdown the start of each race.
“Thank you to everyone who is taking part in today’s Reindeer and Santa runs. Little Havens does not charge a penny for the care they provide – from short breaks, pain control to end of life care they are they for every step of the journey. Little Havens can only be there for families like mine because of the kindness and generosity of supporters like you. Together you are ‘Making every day count.’ Thank you.”
Havens Hospices Events Fundraiser, Susie May, said,
“I’d like to thank every single Santa and Reindeer that took part and helped us all get in the Christmas spirit this weekend while raising money for their local children’s hospice and also to everyone who volunteered their time on the day, all of our marshals, our patron Heart Essex’s Su Harrison who not only MC’d the event, but also led the warm-up, Paul Robinson Solicitors for sponsoring the event and also Wat Tyler County Park for being so accommodating.
“We must raise £46,000 a week to care for every baby, child and teenager who needs us and we simply couldn’t provide this specialist care without the help of our dedicated supporters. To them and everyone else who came out to cheer them on this weekend we wish you all a very Merry Christmas.”
For more information on Havens Hospices events or for fundraising ideas please click here.