Rainham and Hornchurch boys to run with fundraising Santas

Best mates Keane Richardson and Joe Quirk, 11, are running a Santathon (marathon dressed as Santa) f

Best mates Keane Richardson and Joe Quirk, 11, are running a Santathon (marathon dressed as Santa) for Saint Francis Hospice after Keane's grandad was cared for by them and Joe received support after his grandma died. Penny, and Keanr Richardson with Joe, and Keely Quirk. - Credit: Archant

Two best friends will dress in red hats and coats to take part in a Santathon fun run to thank a hospice that provided support after the deaths of their grandparents.

Joseph Quirk, 11, from Rainham, and best pal Keane Richardson, 11, from Hornchurch, will don their Santa hats for Saint Francis Hospice’s 5k Santathon on Sunday, December 7.

The Havering-atte-Bower hospice helped Joseph’s grandmother Mary Pearson, from Plaistow, and Keane’s grandfather Albert Moss, from Hornchurch, both of whom wanted to spend their last days at home.

The boys, who have been close friends since they were three, jumped at the opportunity to raise money in honour of their grandparents after being unable to take part in adult events.

Joseph’s mum Keely Quirk said: “I think it’s brilliant, both families have been through a lot with the losses. They’ve been friends for years and I don’t know how they did it but they’ve got each through it, they’ve really lifted each other.”

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Keely sought support from the charity, which helped provide counselling for the family, after her mother, Mary, died following a battle with cancer.

Keane’s mum Penny Richardson said: “Keane has wanted to do something in his grandad’s memory, so this is a great opportunity to do so.”

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The hospice helped take the strain off Penny when she was looking after her dad, who was also battling cancer.

“The hospice at home team let you have a rest at some point so you can have half-an-hour sleep – they’re just a great support, they’ve been brilliant.”

Keane said: “I want to do it for my grandad and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Saint Francis Hospice’s acting events and community manager Katy Woodgate said: “We appreciate the support of Joseph and Keane and we hope to welcome as many people to this event as possible.

“The money raised will bring cheer and care to the patients and families affected by life-limiting illness that Saint Francis Hospice supports so please join us.”

To sponsor Joseph visit justgiving.com/keely-joseph-quirk and visit justgiving.com/penny-richardson3 to sponsor Keane. Visit sfh.org.uk to sign up for the run.

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