Nuns flock to join fundraising habit

Scores of "nuns" have signed up to run in support of St Oswald's Hospice.

Julie Jardine, Colin Parker, Pam Hepple, Brendan Sykes and Pam Mudie

Scores of "nuns" have signed up to run in support of St Oswald's Hospice. The world's first ever Nun Run is being held in Gateshead - where up to 250 runners dressed in nuns' outfits will take part in a one-mile jog around the Northern Fields of Saltwell Park.

Sunday, May 6 is the date to get into the fundraising habit, and all the cash raised from the £10 entry fee and sponsorship will go to St Oswald's Hospice in Gosforth through the Association of Children's Hospices (ACH).

The event, sponsored by international financial services group Foresters, is also part of The Journal 175 St Oswald's Appeal.

The Foresters Nun Run starts at 11am, and takes place on a marked course suitable for runners, walkers, pushchairs and wheelchairs.

Adele Robertson, Foresters Regional Event Specialist, said: "The response so far has been brilliant, my phone is ringing constantly and every day is taking us closer to filling the limited number of places.

"I'd urge everyone to get their application form back quickly to be sure of reserving their space."

Participants don't even have to go to the trouble of hiring a costume - habits will be given to runners on the day. There is no minimum sponsorship, but runners will receive a sponsorship pack containing everything they need to help raise as much as they can towards the vital services St Oswald's provides to children with life-limiting conditions and their families from all over the North-East.

The event has the support of Sister Frances Dominica of All Saints Convent, founder of the first Children's Hospice in the UK.

She said: "If you're thinking about taking part in the Foresters Nun Run then I'd encourage you to go for it. This is a fun way to raise vital funds to help your local hospice make a real difference to the lives of the children and families that stay there."

You can join the Foresters Nun Run by filling in the entry form on this page or call (01302) 711006, emailing nunrun@foresters.co.uk or go on line at www.foresters.co.uk/nunrun

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175 ways you can help appeal

St Oswald's Hospice is the chosen charity of a very special Journal appeal.

To celebrate our 175th anniversary on May 12, we are asking readers to help raise cash for one of the region's most deserving charities through the Journal 175 St Oswald's Appeal.

St Oswald's Hospice, in Gosforth, Newcastle, opened in 1985 and helps thousands of people with life-limiting illnesses in the region every year.

Based in Regent Avenue, Gosforth, St Oswald's has, over the last two decades, built up a world-wide reputation.

But the purpose built unit - adult hospice and children's centre - costs £6m a year to run.

A staggering £4.5m of this has to be raised each year through donations.

It makes no charge for any of the services it provides.

How you can help

* Can you organise an event with a 175 theme?

* Can you raise a team to relay swim 175 lengths, run 175 laps or cycle 175 miles or kilometres?

* Can you do it yourself?

* Can you keep silent for 175 minutes?

* Can your local collect 175 £1 coins?

* Can you play 175 holes of golf?

* Could your workplace, school, club or circle of friends generate a donation to an organisation which helps thousands of people in the region every year?

Anyone who has a fundraising idea and would like to have it publicised can call Tom Patterson at The Journal on (0191) 201-6107.

You can also call the St Oswald's Fundraising Hotline on 0870 700- 3030 or email fundraising@stoswaldsuk.org Alternatively, log onto www.stoswaldsuk.org

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer