Join Team Chestnut and raise vital funds by running the BM10k

And there’s still time to sign up for the BM10k!

78 runners took part in The Grand Brighton Half Marathon 2019 on Sunday 24 February in aid of Chestnut Tree House– the children’s hospice for Sussex and South East Hampshire. From groups of friends and first-time runners to regulars on the Marathon scene, the ‘Team Chestnut’ Brighton Half runners are set to raise £30,000, which will pay for over four days of all the hospice’s care services.

The first person to finish for Chestnut Tree House was Nathan Gregory, who completed the race in an impressive 01:30:15. Third-time Half Marathon runner, Ian Stocker, finished in 01:56:57 – matching his 2018 time. Ian chooses to be part of Team Chestnut as he wants to thank the charity for all the care and support they have provided his nephew and family over the years. His fundraising total is currently just under £1,000.

The next big running event is the Brighton Marathon Weekend, which includes the BM10k. Entries are now closed for the Marathon itself, but there is still time to get involved in the BM10k, and join over 100 people who have already signed up to be part of Team Chestnut on Sunday 14 April.

Two people who have signed up to take part are sisters, Lucy and Verity Wakeling, who will be running in memory of Lucy’s baby daughter, Hope. They have set themselves a target of raising £1,500, and have already received donations of over £900.

Lucy was 25 weeks pregnant when she discovered her baby girl was unwell and may not live, and two weeks later she delivered her stillborn baby, who she named Hope. Supported by her family and friends, as well as Chestnut Tree House, Lucy was able to spend special time with Hope, and say goodbye in her own way. She now wants to take on a personal challenge and fundraise for Chestnut Tree House in Hope’s memory, and share her story to help raise awareness for stillbirth and pregnancy complications.

Lucy Wakeling said: “On my journey, I have learnt so much and I think it is so important to talk about stillbirth and baby loss as it is such a taboo subject. I am incredibly lucky to be supported by such amazing caring family and friends, and will always be grateful for the time I was able to spend with Hope at Chestnut Tree House. She had her own little room and we sat with her in peace, making our own memories. I am not a runner and have never done anything like the BM10k before, but if I can help one person who is going through what I have, then it will be worth it.”

If you’d like to join Lucy and take part in the BM10k on Sunday 14 April for Chestnut Tree House, you can sign up now at www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/BM10k. Entry is free, with a minimum sponsorship of £100. Entries close next Friday, 15 March.

Andrew Battley, Events Fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House said: “We are so grateful to all our runners and it was wonderful to have such a diverse group of people take part in the Brighton Half this year. It’s always great to see our regular runners, but equally, it was inspiring to meet many first-time runners who had chosen to take on their first challenge for us.

“We need to raise £6,850 every day to pay for all of Chestnut Tree House’s specialist care services, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes, so fundraising at events like this is invaluable. Our Team Chestnut runners at the Brighton Half are on track to pay for over four days of care, which is fantastic, and we’re now looking forward to the Brighton Marathon Weekend and cheering on everyone taking part in the Marathon and BM10k”.

Chestnut Tree House opened its doors in 2003 and currently provides care and support to around 300 children with life-shortening conditions and their families across Sussex and South East Hampshire, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes. The cost of providing this service is over £3.9 million per year, yet the hospice receives less than 6% central government funding so relies on the generosity and support of the community to continue providing vital care to local children and families.

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