KEMP Hospice Celebrate The Biggest Ever Santa Fun Run

2nd December 2018

Wyre Forest charity KEMP Hospice are celebrating after the biggest ever turnout for their annual Santa Fun Run event, with this year breaking all records and seeing people going the extra mile (or 100) for the charity. 

KEMP hosted their 11th annual festive fundraising event at Brinton Park in Kidderminster on Sunday 2nd December which saw hundreds of people take part in the region’s only 10k Santa fun run, the Family 5k, the children’s 1k Santa Dash and the West Midland’s only 25-mile festive Santa Cycle Ride

Online registration closed last week as demand to take part increased, and it became clear that the charity would break last year’s attendance record. In 2017 the number of people taking part HAD tripled the previous year, with 500 people taking part, however this year’s event exceeded all expectations with an incredible 565 people registering to run or cycle on behalf of KEMP.

Shelley Stanley, Challenge & Events Fundraiser for KEMP Hospice said: “We are utterly blown away by the number of people that took part. Such an incredible sight to see so many wonderful families come out to Brinton Park and help raise money for the care and support we provide to people dealing with life-limiting illnesses or bereavement. Last year was the 10th anniversary of the Santa Fun Run and we thought that this year we might see numbers dwindle, however it’s clear that the love and support for KEMP from the Wyre Forest district is stronger than ever before. We wanted to give people the chance to do a cycle ride this year and I never expected that we’d not only break the attendance record for people running but also hold a cycling event that saw more than 70 people sign up for.”

Everyone who signed up for the 10k and 5k run, as well as the 25-mile cycle ride received a free Santa suit to wear, with many spectators also dressing up for the occasion to cheer them on. All the money raised from the event will go directly to operating KEMP Hospice allowing them to provide care and support services for people across the Wyre Forest district.

One runner who certainly went the extra distance was Shaun Marshall (44) from Kidderminster who started his Santa Fun Run a day earlier than anyone else, as he embarked on a 24-hour run for KEMP. He covered a distance of over 100 miles and raised more than £1100 in the process.

KEMP LOOK FOR A 2019 SPONSOR

They may have only just taken off the Santa Fun Run suits but KEMP are already thinking about next year's event. The hospice are looking for a company (or companies) to sponsor next year's Santa Fun Run as part of their 50th anniversary year, which will feature the regions only 10k 'timed' festive run.

Shelley added: It could be your business that is in front of hundreds of participants and thousands upon thousands of people (and other businesses) in the run up to Santa Fun Run 2019: The Gold Run! We would love to hear from any local company that wants to be name behind the district's biggest fun run festive fundraiser."

"It was lovely this year to see so many people coming together as a community, putting on their Santa suits and putting their best foot forward to help KEMP raise money for the work we do right here in their community. Brinton Park was again a sea of Santa’s and we never dreamed that we could beat last year’s numbers, however to surpass that was so reaffirming of the depth of support we receive locally. I cannot thank everyone enough, especially those like Shaun Marshall who went the extra to mile to raise money for us. Plans are underway for next year’s event, which will definitely be a golden time as we celebrate our 50th anniversary at KEMP.”

This year the hospice event was supported by local businesses and groups such as: Kidderminster and Stourport Athletics Club, Wyre Forest District Council Sports Development, radio station Signal 107, LJ Fitness, National Citizen Service, The Canal & River Trust, Severn Area Rescue Association, the Mayor of Kidderminster Cllr Martin Stooke, Spar (Marlpool), Cutter & Co. Accountants, Thursfields Solicitors, Kidderminster Harriers, Kidderminster Shuttle, Marvin Cox, West Mercia Police, Rock Choir, Nigel Barter, Midlands Bike Marshals, The White Hart pub and over 60 wonderful KEMP Hospice volunteers.

The annual event has been a firm fixture in the KEMP fundraising calendar since 2008 and money raised over the last eleven years has exceeded £180,000 with all money going towards the work of KEMP Hospice in the Wyre Forest.