Community News From Around Our Area

Hundreds of Brummie Santa’s Got Jogging For Local Hospice

Over 550 big-hearted Santa’s took over a Birmingham park in December, raising over £23,000 for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. Santa’s both big and small – as well as four-legged – took part in the ‘Jingle Bell Jog’, which is the charity’s annual festive fun run.

Taking place on Sunday 2nd December at Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club, jolly joggers could choose to take on either the 2.5k or 5k gentle route around Billesley Common. All fun runners were given a free Mr or Mrs Claus suit before the race and were rewarded for their efforts with a medal and tasty mince pie once they crossed the finish line.

Josephine Wardell, who lives in Hopwood, has been running the Jingle Bell Jog for three years, with the fun run quickly becoming a much-loved festive tradition. She runs in memory of her sister Letitia – or Tish for short – who was cared for at the Hospice in 2016.

Josephine said, “Every year, I look forward to taking part in the Jingle Bell Jog and this year was no different. We had such a laugh as we got dressed up in our Santa costumes and it’s amazing to see so many people come together and support this wonderful charity.

“When I first found out that Tish’s lung cancer was terminal, I was completely and utterly heartbroken. Tish was my older sister, but she was also my best friend and I couldn’t imagine life without her.

“I was hesitant about Tish going to a hospice at first but as soon as I visited Birmingham St Mary’s, I couldn’t believe how calm and peaceful it was. The nurses and doctors were just amazing – they really made Tish feel at home – and they always had time for my sister and our family.

“It was that kindness that made me want to give back to the Hospice, which is why I always take part in the Jingle Bell Jog. It really does kick-start the festive season and it’s a unique way to celebrate Tish’s memories at this time of year.”

This is the fifth year that the Hospice has hosted the Jingle Bell Jog and the £23,000 raised will help provide expert care and support to people living with life-limiting illness this Christmas. As well as the jog, there was a festive market for both runners and spectators, which was selling gifts, crafts and one-of-a-kind stocking fillers. Dr Seuss’ ‘The Grinch’ also made a special appearance, who, despite his mischievous nature, couldn’t dampen anyone’s spirit at the run.

Laura Nash, events manager at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said, “What better way to kick-start the Christmas celebrations than by joining hundreds of other Santa’s for our festive fun run! I really enjoyed welcoming people to the Jingle Bell Jog this year and it was fantastic to see so many Father Christmases get dressed up and into the festive spirit.”