Elijah's Great North Run-draiser

Elijah, 5, had been due to run in last year’s event which was cancelled due to Covid. Although he and his dad completed their own virtual run from home in 2020, this year was his first time taking on the Quayside course.

The family, who along with mum Claire live in Jarrow, South Tyneside, chose St Oswald’s as they had been supporters of their local hospice, St Clare’s, before it sadly closed in 2019. Michael said:

“Since St Clare’s closed, my wife’s uncle Steve has been travelling to St Oswald’s for his treatment. We decided to fundraise for this hospice as a way of saying thank you to all the doctors nurses and staff  who are currently caring for him.

We set up a JustGiving page and we shared the page with work, then via social media with friends and family. My wife and I work for Sage (the accounting software company based in the North East) and through the company’s Sage Foundation charity we were able to request a donation match for part of the money raised for our chosen charity. This gave our total a real boost and our family and friends also gave generously.”

The Mini Great North Run took place on Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside on Saturday 11th September and the sun shone as the young runners completed their course to cheers from the spectators who lined the route.

Michael added:

“Elijah really enjoyed the day, he was desperate to start the run as soon as we got there. He enjoyed being surrounded by other kids, the fun atmosphere and people cheering him on. As we were close to the finish on the Millennium Bridge, a girl shouted that we were nearly there and to go for a sprint finish, so he picked up speed! 

We managed to do it in just under ten minutes and the commentator at the end gave a shout out to St Oswald as we were crossing the line as he had spotted my vest!

“Elijah was so happy that he ‘won’ the race and received a medal. He was very proud to have raised the money and was excited to show off his medal to Great Uncle Steve. We hope the money we have raised helps the hospice continue into the future. With the loss of St Clare’s in our area, St Oswald’s is needed by more people than ever and we are proud to be able to help in this way.”

Huge well done to Elijah and Michael for their fabulous fundraising, from everyone at St Oswald’s Hospice.

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