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Bosworth Gardens’ Great North Run street party extravaganza!

A group of Newcastle neighbours came together to complete their very own Great North Run, despite the official race being cancelled.

A group of Newcastle neighbours came together to complete their very own Great North Run, despite the official race being cancelled.

Residents of Bosworth Gardens in North Heaton decided to raise funds for their local Hospice by working together to complete the 13.1 miles of the famous half marathon in their own street on Saturday 15th August.

The idea was the brainchild of Bob Day, 71, who has lived in Bosworth Gardens for 38 years. Bob had heard that the Great North Run had been cancelled and was concerned at the effect it would have on St Oswald Hospice, due to the loss of fundraising from participants.

Bob wrote to his neighbours with his idea and was delighted to have a fantastic response. Bob said:

“Our street has a great community spirit and many of us have lived here a long time. During lockdown, we tried to keep this going with socially distanced events such as bingo, a quiz, family fun day and singalongs. I thought that holding our own Great North Run would be a fantastic way to bring everyone together safely, to have some fun and raise money for a great cause.”

Around 35 neighbours took part in the Bosworth Gardens Great North Run Extravaganza. With help from his neighbours, Bob calculated that a circuit of his street is two thirds of a mile, meaning that together, the team would need to complete twenty circuits to make up the distance of the half marathon.

On the day, neighbours of all ages come out to take part, beginning with a two minutes silence to mark VJ Day. They then took turns to complete the course, with the younger participants running, skipping or jogging, and the older members of the team walking their circuit.

Bob continued:

“Our youngest team members were Archie and Gabriel, aged 2 and Bella and Aloysius aged 5, and our oldest was Marjorie aged 89! I think the average age was about 75, but together we managed to complete the Great North Run distance in 4 hours, 43 minutes and 20 seconds. Marjorie has the honour of completing the final 100 yards which she walked magnificently, crossing the finish line to applause from all the neighbours. We finished with a tea party and lovely cakes made by some of the ladies in the street.”

Thanks to generous donations from neighbours and passers-by, Bob and his team have raised £600 for St Oswald’s. He had suggested the hospice as a charity to support as his sister Joan has spent her last two weeks on the Inpatient Unit in December 2017. After chatting to neighbours, Bob discovered several other families has had relatives cared for at the Hospice too.

Bob added:

“My sister Joan would have been smiling down on us as we completed the challenge. She wanted to end her days at the hospice and she got her wish. It was such a calm and wonderful place and Joan was treated with great care and compassion. I am so pleased I was able to organise this event to support the Hospice and get all the neighbours together for a special day."

Danielle Harvey, Events & Corporate Fundraising Manager at St Oswald’s Hospice added:

“On behalf of all the staff, volunteers, patients and families at St Oswald’s Hospice, we would like to say a huge thank you to Bob, the residents of Bosworth Gardens and to everyone who donated to this challenge. The money raised will help our team to continue caring for local people at a difficult time.

“Over a difficult few months, it’s been just brilliant to see our community of supporters come together to fundraise for us in such creative ways. It sounds Bosworth Gardens had a lot of fun during their challenge as well as raising lots of money. I wonder if we can persuade any of them to give the official Great North Run a go next year!”

If you have been inspired by Bob and his neighbours and have a creative fundraising idea to support your local hospice, our team would love to hear from you. You can contact our fundraising team on 0191 246 9123 or by emailing us using the button below.