Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice has announced new plans for a personal running challenge this spring, which rewards participants with chocolatey treats once they reach their 5k or 10k target.

The much-loved Hospice has launched ‘The Chocolate 5k and 10k Challenge’ after lockdown restrictions forced it to postpone the original event.

The tasty fun run will see sweet-toothed runners complete either a 5k or 10k run at a time and place to suit them, all whilst raising vital sponsorship for the local charity. The only rule is that they follow government advice on safe social distancing.

Once completed, the Hospice will then send chocolatey goodies and a commemorative medal through the post as a well-earned reward.

It’s the first time that the Hospice has introduced a 10k running option for its chocolate-themed event, giving more experienced runners a bigger challenge.

Laura Nash, events manager at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “Our Chocolate 5k is one of our most popular fundraising events so we were really gutted when we realised we had to postpone it – although we knew it was the right decision to make. We know a lot of people always look forward to this tasty fun run, which is why we decided to make it virtual so people don’t have to miss out.

“Whether you’re into running or just love chocolate, The Chocolate 5k and 10k Challenge is a great way to enjoy delicious treats without any of the guilt – as you will have burnt off the calories before eating your chocolate reward! Plus, you’ll be helping to raise much-needed funds so that people living with life-limiting conditions in our local communities can continue to receive the care and support when they need it most.”

The  Chocolate 5k and 10k Challenge has been launched in response to the ban on all social gatherings, which has forced the charity to postpone all of its fundraising events until further notice. The Selly Park-based Hospice has also had to postpone community activities, corporate partnerships and close the doors to its 17 charity shops – significantly impacting on the 64 per cent of voluntary income it needs to raise through fundraising.

Despite these challenges, the Hospice is still providing urgent care and support to local people living with life-limiting illness. Its staff are working on the frontline, providing round-the-clock care at its Inpatient Unit and offering critical support in people’s homes. Its expert team of doctors, nurses, bereavement counsellors and more are also offering digital consultations and phone support to patients and their loved ones during this crisis.

Laura added: “Our staff are continuing to provide crucial care during this difficult time – including to patients who have been diagnosed with Covid-19. But heartbreakingly, at a time when people desperately need our services, we’re losing out on funding. That’s why virtual challenges, like this chocolate fun run, will really help raise the 64 per cent voluntary funding we need to be able to continue to care for people and their loved ones during this crisis.”

The Chocolate 5k and 10k Challenge is suitable for all ages and abilities. It’s free to sign up but the Hospice is encouraging runners to raise a minimum sponsorship of £15 to help fund its critical care during the Covid-19 crisis.

To sign up, visit here.

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