A thousand runners back Birmingham Children's Hospital

By on 04/09/2012 in Deputy Leader, News

A thousand Birmingham runners are showing their support for the city's Children's Hospital by donning their running shoes for the 2012 Bupa Great Birmingham Run.

Cllr Ian Ward

Cllr Ian Ward

On Sunday 21st October, people from Birmingham and across the country will tackle the 13 mile run to achieve personal goals and raise valuable funds in support of local and national charities.

Birmingham City Council has commended the runners and joins them in support of the Children's Hospital as Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader at the council, explains: “Birmingham Children's Hospital is dear to the hearts of the people of Birmingham and has a richly deserved international reputation.

“The hospital celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and I think it's a fitting tribute that so many participants in the Bupa Great Birmingham Run are showing their support for this wonderful institution.”

Andrew Locke, from Hollywood in Bromsgrove knows first-hand what it's like to have a child who's been treated at Birmingham Children's Hospital. He comments: “At just 4 days old my baby son, Dylan, needed corrective open heart surgery; he was born seemingly healthy but quickly deteriorated and was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA). Dylan's surgeon, Mr Barron and his team were amazing and they saved our son's life. It was the worst time of our lives but we were one of the lucky ones and we owe it all to Birmingham Children's Hospital and its staff.

“Dylan is be celebrating his first birthday this month and is now a healthy, gorgeous, funny and loving boy. To celebrate his recovery and the amazing support we received from the hospital, my brother-in-law, Stuart Perrot, and I are running the Bupa Great Birmingham Run and hope to raise £500 to ensure other children will continue to receive the same first class treatment as Dylan has.”

Known internationally as a paediatric centre for excellence, the hospital relies on charitable donations to create an environment in which children from across the Midlands and the UK feel safe and comfortable when receiving treatment for potentially life-threatening illnesses.

Lucie O'Reilly, Business Development Consultant at Birmingham Children's Hospital, said: “We are thrilled to have the support of so many people from Birmingham in this historic year for the hospital. The run is such a fantastic event and we are lucky to have such a big, enthusiastic team. We now have nearly 1,000 runners so if you are still thinking of taking part we would love you to be part of our team. It's always great to see so many supporters out in force in our red vests, flying the flag for Birmingham Children's Hospital - it's a very special and humbling day.”

Each year Birmingham Children's Hospital treats 250,000 children with an aim to make a real difference to them and their families by providing additional facilities, equipment and research.

Lucie adds: “This is a particularly important year for Birmingham Children's Hospital as we are celebrating our 150th birthday. In honour of this special anniversary the hospital is aiming to recruit 1,050 runners. So if you have always thought about doing the Bupa Great Birmingham Run but not quite got round to it, this historic year is the time to get involved.”

This year's event will see an extra 3,000 take to the streets of Birmingham, with 18,000 runners hoping to complete the 13 miles. While many run to complete a personal challenge to take an important step towards a healthier lifestyle, the majority of entrants run on behalf of a charity.

Jamie Still, race director at event organiser Nova, said: “We've had over 15,000 entries for this year's run with many entrants raising money for Birmingham Children's Hospital. It is clear from the comments we get from these entrants that the hospital has touched countless hearts in the community. What's more, it's recognised globally as an outstanding paediatric centre for medicine and so we are extremely proud that funds from this year's event will go towards supporting this admirable cause.”

Previously known as Birmingham Half Marathon, the event became the Bupa Great Birmingham Run last year when 15,000 amateur runners took part, led by an impressive elite field.

For your chance to be a part of the 2012 event visit www.greatrun.org/birmingham.

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ENDS
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Notes to editors:

Nova International
The Bupa Great Birmingham Run is brought to you by a partnership between event organisers Nova International and Birmingham City Council and is sponsored by Bupa.

Nova International, headed by Olympic medallist, Brendan Foster, is one of the UK's leading event management and sports marketing agencies. The company's current brand portfolio also includes some of the biggest running events in the world all based on the Bupa Great North Run, the world's biggest half marathon with over 54,000 entries.

Nova International was established in 1988 and has a strong sporting pedigree. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Nova has established itself as a market leader in the world of sports marketing and event management. For more information please visit www.greatrun.org.

About Bupa
Bupa's purpose is to help people lead longer, healthier, happier lives.

A leading international healthcare group, we offer personal and company health insurance, run care homes for older people and hospitals, and provide workplace health services, health assessments and chronic disease management services, including health coaching, and home healthcare.

With no shareholders, we invest our profits to provide more and better healthcare.  We are committed to making quality, patient-centred, affordable healthcare more accessible in the areas of wellness, chronic disease management and ageing.

Employing nearly 52,000 people, Bupa has operations around the world, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, New Zealand and the USA, as well as Hong Kong, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, India, China and across Latin America.

For more information visit www.bupa.com

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