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Local man puts on running shoes to raise money for charity

Press Release   •   Jul 31, 2017 11:00 BST

David will be taking on the country's biggest half marathon on behalf of The Sick Children's Trust

A West Yorkshire man is donning his running shoes in this year’s Great North Run to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust.

David Rez, 37 from Todmorden, is taking on the country’s biggest half marathon to fundraise for The Sick Children’s Trust, a charity that provides free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation for families with seriously ill children in hospital. Last year, the charity supported 1080 families from Yorkshire while their children received lifesaving treatment. David, who received a ballot place in this year’s race, says:

“No parent should be separated from their child for any reason, especially not when they’re going through such a difficult and emotional time. And not only is it scary for mum and dad but it must be terrifying for the seriously ill child in hospital. The wonderful work of The Sick Children’s Trust means that families can stay together when they need to the most.

“I hope that whatever I raise will help The Sick Children’s Trust continue its vital work, keeping families together just minutes away from their loved ones’ bedsides. I’m really looking forward to seeing Crawford House when I go up for the race, meeting the team and the families being supported by the charity. It will really encourage me on the way round the course seeing first-hand how the money raised will be helping families in need.”

The Sick Children’s Trust supports around 4,000 families with seriously ill children and runs ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country. In Newcastle upon Tyne where the Great North Run takes place, the charity runs two ‘Homes from Home’ which support families with seriously ill children at Freeman Hospital and the Royal Victoria Infirmary – Scott House and Crawford House. The charity also has three houses in Yorkshire supporting Leeds Children’s Hospital and Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Caroline O’Doherty, Campaign & Appeals Manager, says:

“Without the amazing fundraising of people like David, The Sick Children’s Trust wouldn’t be able to support 146 families a night across the country, 365 days a year. Each and every penny raised allows us to keep families together when serious illnesses threaten to tear them apart. We believe that keeping families together when their children are seriously ill in hospital this makes a difference to a child’s recovery. We’d like to thank David for his support, and we wish him the very best of luck!”

In addition to raising money for The Sick Children’s Trust, David will be undertaking the Great North Run in memory of his nephew, Paul Lawson, who passed away earlier this year at just 16 years old. David adds:

“Paul tragically drowned in a reservoir in June when he was swimming with friends, so I set myself the challenge of running 350km between then and September to help raise money and awareness of unsafe waters, before finishing off with the Great North Run which I’ll be doing in his name.

“I’ve never been a massive runner, I’ve only ever really done it to keep an eye on the waistline so as you can imagine I’m doing a lot of training in preparation. I’m quite a busy bee at the moment, but I’m really looking forward to it and what’s running a few extra miles to me if it can help others? That can only be a good thing and I just hope it will encourage more people will do the same.”

The Sick Children’s Trust relies entirely on voluntary donations to run its ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country, for further information please visit:

If you’d like to donate to David’s fundraising page, please visit:

The Sick Children’s Trust was founded in 1982 by two paediatric specialists Dr Jon Pritchard and Professor James Malpas. They believed that having parents on hand during hospital treatment benefited a child's recovery.

Today we have ten ‘Homes from Home’ at major hospitals around the country where families can stay free of charge, for as long as they need whilst their child is undergoing treatment. 

Every year we help around 3,500 families, but there is a growing demand for our ‘Homes from Home’ as children must increasingly travel long distances to get the specialist treatment they need. 

We are working to a future where every family with a seriously ill child in hospital will be able to stay together, just minutes from their child’s bed during their treatment.

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