Charity fundraiser goes virtual

An annual charity 'dark run' which raises money for a hospice is going online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Participants at last year's event
Participants at last year's event

Hope House Dark Run is going virtual this Halloween, with children and adults alike encouraged to pull on their florescent and spooky outfits and hit the street on a 5K route near their homes.

The dark run has been an annual event for Hope House since 2014, held first at Telford Town Park, and then also at Chirk Castle. It has gone online this year because of Covid restrictions on mass gatherings.

Two families who have received help and support from the hospice have played a starring role in both actual events, and will also be taking part in the virtual version.

Alison and Rob Jones, and their son Rhys, who are from Newport, will be leading an online countdown to the start of the run after a special live Clubbercise warm-up. The family supports the event in memory of their son Ryan, who received respite care at Hope House.

“Hope House really has been the core of our journey. It helped us when our world was completely shattered and falling apart. They’ve given us the strength, hope and encouragement for a journey that no parent wants to travel,” says Alison.

“And we’ve got happy memories of the hospice and I’m so proud Rhys also has happy memories. He’s lived a journey that certainly Rob and I never lived at his age and he’s happy and he wants to keep his brother’s memory alive. I’m really proud of that.”

The runners will be sent on their way on the night by the Parry family from Chirk.

Mum Martine and brothers Liam, Caiden and Kyle support the event in memory of Mia who died aged just four years old after a lifetime of support from Hope House.

“At Hope House it was all about giving Mia a good life and finding a way to do the things we wanted, such as riding a rocking horse,” said Martine.

“But the support for us as a family, including sibling support for Liam, Caiden and Kyle is incredible. They go to the beach and come back having been soaked from head to toe, but you can see they’ve had such fun. I don’t know where we would be without Hope House.”

Fundraiser Lynsey Kilvert said: “The dark runs are some of our most popular events, and during these difficult times where we need income we decided to make sure they will be able to go ahead in the best possible way.

“The event will take place on Halloween, October 31, which will allow people to get all dressed up and have fun, something which we haven’t been able to have too much of this year.

“Every week, three local families face their biggest fear and their child dies. Hope House Children’s Hospices cannot stop children dying but we can stop families suffering on their own.

“We need to raise in excess of £6m a year to support all the children and families we help from across North Wales, Shropshire and parts of Cheshire. That’s why it’s so important that we are supported by event such as the Dark Run.”

Entrants will be sent a limited edition bespoke Virtual Dark Run 2020 glow in the dark medal and goody bag in advance so they are ready and waiting for people at the end of the run and there will also be a fancy-dress competition on the night too.

It costs £20 for an adult to enter and £5 for a child and people can sign up to the event at hopehouse.org.uk/Event/virtual-dark-run

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