A local running group from Wallsend, North Tyneside, are celebrating after racing past their fundraising target by raising over £30,000 for St Oswald’s as we celebrate our 30th birthday year.
The Wallsend Harriers and Athletics Club have been supporting St Oswald’s since 2008. The club have members of all ages and abilities and of various ages and have fundraised for the Hospice by organising annual races known as the Toby Run. Over the years, the Wallsend Harriers have run across the North East and beyond completing courses such as the Coast to Coast route and the Hadrian’s Wall cycle.
The group first became involved with the Hospice after the wife of one of their members, current Chairman Bill Todd, received treatment at St Oswald’s for end of life care. Bill said:
“My wife died at St Oswald’s on the 31st December 2008. The hospice was amazing - they didn’t just look after Linda, but the whole family as well. Money was collected at her funeral, which was the start of the Linda Todd fund at the hospice and has then been built on each year by the Harriers’ Toby Runs.”
The group have enjoyed plenty of enjoyable moments along the way, as the club’s secretary Elaine Ashton explains:
“I can remember one occasion when we were running in Scotland and some local residents approached us. Despite them not being familiar with the charity we were fundraising for or indeed the area we were from, they were extremely kind and stopped to chat to us, offered us their support and donated some money to our good cause. During tough physical fundraising challenges, it is this generosity of spirt which keeps the team motivated.”
Natalie Santamera, Community Fundraiser at St Oswald’s, said:
“We’re delighted to be celebrating with the Wallsend Harriers as they’ve now passed the £30,000 fundraising mark and have been supporting us for nearly a decade. The group have been an enormous and loyal form of support to us over the last ten years and we’re thrilled to have a strong local group loyally assisting the work we do. Without the loyal groups like the Wallsend Harriers, the Hospice simply couldn’t provide the high levels of care that we do as we need to raise an additional £7 million each year. We hope the Wallsend Harriers are aware of how appreciative we are of the time, effort and commitment they’ve put into their fundraising endeavours. A huge congratulations to the team and we hope to continue working with the group in the years ahead.”
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