Essex Businesses Race for Local Hospice Care

Essex Businesses Race for Local Hospice Care

More than 600 runners from local businesses took to the parks of Chelmsford raising thousands of pounds for local families living with incurable conditions.

Runners joined together to take part in the 25th annual Race4Business event to raise much-needed funds for Essex-based charity Havens Hospices, which runs Little Havens children’s hospice.

Havens Hospices welcomed participants from over 70 local businesses to the 5K race on the evening of Wednesday 3rd July, starting and finishing in Central Park.

Race4Business has become a significant annual fixture in the business community calendar and raises money for the charity which provides free specialist and compassionate care and support to babies, children and young people living with incurable conditions.

Radio Essex Presenter and Havens Hospices Patron Su Harrison welcomed runners at the start of the race along with Virgin Active Chelmsford which provided a warm-up routine for the runners. Ahead of the race starting, a moving speech was given by a mother whose son and family use the services of Little Havens, Essex’s only children’s hospice, to remind participants why events like this are so important.

Kerry’s son George, 16, is living with an incurable condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The family has been using the services at Little Havens since 2019 and Kerry thanked runners for raising vital funds, explaining the importance of the care the charity provides.

Kerry said ahead of the race: “Life used to be really active for us and we lived a normal life but when George was 8 years old, we found ourselves sitting in Great Ormond Street Hospital with a consultant diagnosing George with a progressive life-limiting condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a very severe muscle wasting condition.

“It always plays on my mind still the words ‘there’s no cure and go and live your life to the full, make every moment count’.

She continued: “Someone referred us to Little Havens Hospice for some support. The word ‘hospice’ for us was really difficult but the moment we walked through those doors it was just so welcoming – a warm smile from all the staff, joy, happiness and love. Little Havens has become an extended part of our family and a family that we really cherish.

“The staff are amazing and support us in so many ways and started to help lift the darkness from our life and helped us to make more special and incredible memories. We might not be able to find a cure at the moment but Little Havens help us fix things – they provide us with the respite and counselling we need.

“We are incredibly grateful to everybody who has given up their time at Race4Business and fundraised for the charity. Little Havens just wouldn’t exist without all your incredible support. So, thank you very much from George, our family and the other families that rely on Little Havens. “

George joined Kerry on the stage to thank everyone for their support and to start the race.

Following the race, awards were handed to the fastest teams with Aon taking the top prize and the largest team prize went to Fiserv with a team of 50.

The fastest male to cross the finish line was William Radley from Aon in 15 minutes and 41 seconds and the fastest female was Jackie Stretton from Teledyne Ev2 who ran the course in 17 minutes 55 seconds.

Rossella Inguscio, Corporate Fundraiser at Havens Hospices said: “Thank you to every single business for joining us at Central Park to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Race4Business. Every pound raised is going to make a huge difference to the lives of families who rely on the specialist care and support of the charity.

“Year on year the enthusiasm shown by the business community is heartwarming. It is thanks to businesses like yours that we can continue to make every day count for the children and young people we care for across Essex, and their families, supporting them throughout life’s journey.

“We would also like to pass on our heartful thanks and appreciation to all the volunteer marshals, our Patron Su Harrison for her commentary, Virgin Active Chelmsford and Kerry and George for speaking about their personal experiences of the charity. Not forgetting our Race4Business 2024 sponsors Rickard Luckin, Fiserv, Birketts, Tangent International and Gallagher. Without all your support this event wouldn’t be possible, thank you so much.”

Race4Business will be back next year with the date to be announced in due course. Follow Havens Hospices on Facebook @HavensEvents for all the latest announcements.

If you are a local business and would like to support the work of Little Havens, please contact the charity’s Fundraising Team at fradmin@havenshospices.org.uk