St Giles Hospice is encouraging local people to put on their running shoes and take to the pavements to help fund care for local people, and their loved ones, living with a terminal illness.
If you’ve been inspired by watching the energy, passion and determination of runners taking part in the London Marathon, perhaps you might like to consider taking part in a running event of your own and fundraise to support St Giles Hospice.
One runner who’s enjoying a well-earned rest after her success at the London Marathon is Ashleigh Mills, Senior Corporate Fundraiser at St Giles. Ashleigh chose to raise money for three different charities to celebrate her 30th birthday year, raising an incredible £1,602 for St Giles as one of her chosen charities.
Ashleigh’s mum, Sue, received care and support from St Giles, following her breast cancer diagnosis in 2016, as well as receiving end of life care from the hospice in 2018. Ashleigh said: “Choosing to run the London Marathon was
always more than just a physical challenge. It was for Mom, and in her memory. I wanted to raise funds to say thank you to the wonderful staff and volunteers at St Giles Hospice. They did so much for Mom, and for the rest of my family, during her final few days. It really was exceptional care.”
Ashleigh had never run before, prior to entering the ballot for the London Marathon. Although she had to delay her marathon date by a year due to an injury, she triumphantly sailed across the finish line this year and completed the marathon in just 5 hours and 35 minutes. Ashleigh said: “I’m not a natural born runner by any stretch, and it took 12 months of training to get myself ready. I started by running for one mile, and built myself up from there, a mile at a time.
“To anyone who may be thinking of participating in a running event, whether its 5k, 10k or a marathon; running is free, anyone can do it and it has so many health benefits. Once you’ve completed a run, you feel fantastic, and walking, jogging or running are actually a really great natural therapy for people who are living with bereavement themselves.
“To me, St Giles represents hope and comfort. St Giles brought my family hope during the most stressful time in our lives, and gave my mom comfort throughout her illness and in her final few days – they were just fantastic. Our patients here at St Giles need continued specialist care and support, and that’s where local people can make a huge difference, by taking part in an event and raising those crucial funds for the hospice.
“I know there are a lot of people out there who, like me, have lost a loved one early in life. I think lots of people aren’t aware that St Giles also offer bereavement support to individuals of any age, and they offer a place for people to turn to when they might feel emotionally lost or in need of help.”
Those looking for a running event for the whole family this summer can look no further than the Tamworth Gate Gallop, held on Sunday 25th June at the Anker Valley Sports Complex in Tamworth. Organised in aid of St Giles Hospice by the Peel Road Runners, this event has been running for over 25 years, raising over £115,000 to date. Choose from a 10k run (£16), a 4.4k fun run (£9), or a 600m children’s run (£3).
Those looking for a more intense physical challenge, or a next step in their training journey, might like to try one of two half marathons in support of St Giles; The Great Birmingham Run or The Great North Run, both hosted by AJ Bell.
The Great Birmingham Run is held in Birmingham on Sunday 7th May, and St Giles are offering free entry to ten lucky runners, with a minimum sponsorship target of £350. All you have to do is sign up for the run, and the free places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. You can also run in support of St Giles by securing your own place for either the half marathon or 10k Great Birmingham routes.
The Great North Run is held in Newcastle on Sunday 10th September, and is the world’s biggest half marathon. Although ballot places have now sold out for this event, St Giles are currently offering 8 lucky runners the chance to gain entry for £40, with a minimum sponsorship target of £350.
What’s more, those entering the Great North Run will be in excellent company, as Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah has just announced that the run will be the final professional race of his career before his retirement.
For more information or to sign up to a running event, visit https://www.stgileshospice.com/our-events.