Hawkwell Junior Parkrun is a free weekly timed running event for children aged 4-14, and on Sunday they held their Christmas special and invited participants to donate a selection box to be gifted to a local homeless person.
The volunteers, runners, and their families collectively donated a staggering 75 selection boxes and chocolate treats and welcomed Lisa Walton, Community Fundraiser at HARP, Southend’s Homeless Charity to join them, and collect the donations.
55 young runners completed the 2km run despite the cold, drizzly weather and water locked field, but spirits were high and festivities were in full swing. Nick Rowan, Minister of St Mary’s Church and Emmanuel Church of Hawkwell came along to sing carols with some friends of the church, and runners were treated to post race chocolates courtesy of donations from kind volunteers.
Lisa Swallow, Event Director said “Being able to come together as a community and celebrate the festivities is one thing, but being able to reach out to others with a simple act of kindness is another, and this Christmas, our volunteers, runners and their families not only created a Christmas running event to remember, but they have collected an overwhelming amount of gifts to let local homeless people know that we are thinking of them.”
She continued “I am truly grateful to everyone that makes our event happen, from our volunteers, to our dedicated young runners and their families, they are all a part of our parkrun family, and I am really proud of the effort everyone made to make our Christmas event such a heart warming and festive occasion.”
To find out more about Hawkwell junior parkrun, visit www.parkrun.org.uk/hawkwell-juniors or head to Clements Hall Recreation Ground on a Sunday morning at 8.45am.