Charity’s ‘Elf Run’ a huge success
Nearly 200 people enjoyed a bitter winter morning in Keele, on Sunday 16th December, 2018, to take part in Caudwell Children’s annual Elf Run sponsored by Western Power.
The Staffordshire based national charity, which provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, created the fully accessible 5km family fundraising event to give runners of all abilities the opportunity to raise funds for the charity
Sarah Freeth, Challenge and Events Manager at Caudwell Children, was delighted by the success of the event. As she explained: “The non-competitive nature of the Elf Run made for a fantastic, relaxed, atmosphere and given that the event had to be cancelled last year, due to the heavy snow across Staffordshire, the number of participants was fantastic.”
The run started and finished outside Caudwell Children’s new state-of the-art HQ, the Caudwell International Children’s Centre, on Innovation Way, Keele Science and Innovation Park.
“A DJ ramped up the music to motivate runners whilst a fitness instructor, from the Staffordshire Police Bobbies on Bikes For Kids cycling team, conducted a warm up session ahead of the run,” said Sarah. “Our new course was perfectly suited to families with disabled children which resulted in a great mix of participants.
“It was fantastic watching people jog, skip or simply walk around the course and when they crossed the finishing line they enjoyed a festive mince pie, courtesy of one of our supporters, Wright’s Pies.
“We raised over a £1,000 which will allow the charity to support even more disabled children, across Staffordshire, in the New Year!”
Lee Parish, from Sneyd Green, was the first through the finish gantry, kindly provided by Ken Jarvis Kia, whilst Emma Beard, from Derby, was the first female participant to complete the run.
“Weston Power, the company that I work for sponsored the event,” said Emma. “They sent an email to all the staff telling them about the Elf Run, and the work that the charity does, and invited people to register.
“I thought it was a great idea so I signed up immediately, and I don’t regret it as it’s been a fabulous event.”
Wendy Dickens travelled with her two children from Whitchurch, in Shropshire, to take part in the run and said that the family had a great time. As she explained: “It’s really kicked off the festive season for the family and the children were extremely excited when we turned up and saw a sea of runners dressed up as colourful, festive, elves.
“It was amazing and made for such a good natured event.
“Megan, aged 10, and Finn, aged eight, got off to a tremendous start but tired a little half way through.
“But they were determined to finish so that they could pick up their medal! They were really proud when they crossed the finishing line.”
Megan was extremely excited by the appearance of Father Christmas before the start of the run. She said: “I had my picture taken with him and he wished me and my mum good luck. I enjoyed running next to people dressed up in Christmas costumes and I’m going to take my medal to school to show my friends.”
Sarah was keen to stress that whilst the Elf Run is a great family fun day out it also provides a very important function for the disabled families who take part each year. As she concluded: “Research shows that 78% of disabled children have no access to activities outside the home, whilst 75% of families feel so isolated that it has caused anxiety and depression.
“The Elf Run once again gave disabled children the opportunity to reduce their isolation by escaping the confines of their own home, and it also gave parents the opportunity to develop friendships and form lasting social networks.”
You can find out about other Caudwell Children challenges here.