March 9 2014 Latest news:
Jane Ball, News Editor
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
A charity is ho ho hoping to have raised more than £15,000 when more than 500 people dressed as Father Christmas for the fifth Santathon run in aid of Saint Francis Hospice.
A record 550 people joined the 5km fundraiser at Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club on Sunday and it is hoped their efforts have raised more than £15,000 for the charity.
Participants could have a pre-run sports massage or get their faces painted and took part in a warm-up led by fitness instructor Sharon Honey before the Mayor of Barking & Dagenham Cllr Hardial Singh Rai, set the runners on their way.
Among the runners were the Squire family, from Romford, who won the best dressed family title and took part as the hospice cared for their relative Violet Squire.
Liana Fasulo, from Romford, also joined the event as a thank you for the care her Nana Eileen Parker received before she lost her battle with cancer in May.
Liana said: “The hospice nurses and medical team were an amazing support to both my nana and the rest of the family. They made her comfortable and cared for us all at a difficult time.”
Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club representatives Manager Wayne Burnett, first team coach Darren Currie and players Jordan Seabright, Brian Waddall and Jack Connors also took part for the first time.
Laurie Parker, from Doddinghurst, Essex, went along with daughters Abby and Lucy and their dog Benson.
Laurie’s husband Steve received care before he sadly lost his cancer in August.
She said: “I thought at one stage I might have to carry Benson for the last mile but he managed it! I try and give a bit back to the hospice that did so much for our family.
“I cannot thank the hospice enough for the care, love and dignity they gave to Steve in his final days and the continuing support they give to me and our girls.”
To find out about the work of Saint Francis Hospice or events you can join, please visit www.sfh.org.uk or call 01708 753319.