This year Cambridgeshire’s largest charity relay race will see the recipient charities entering teams into the race and joining in the fun.
The sponsorship money raised from Chariots of Fire 2008 will be split between Romsey Mill and Red Balloon – Cambridge, who are both delighted to get involved. The event has been raising money for local charities in Cambridgeshire for years and now accommodates up to 420 teams of six runners who run a picturesque 1.7 mile route through the town and college grounds. This year, the race will take place on Sunday 21 September, starting from Queens’ Green.
In anticipation of the race, Romsey Mill has put together a mixed team of young people, volunteers and staff. “Romsey Mill helped me to start my own business teaching music” comments Karl Lewis, Chariots team member for Romsey Mill. “Now I’m happy to help raise awareness and funds so they can help others like me”. Founded by local churches in 1980, Romsey Mill now works with around 1000 disadvantaged young people, children and families each week. With them, the charity creates opportunities to overcome disadvantage, promote inclusion and develop well-being.
Neil Perry, Romsey Mill’s CEO said, “We further personal and community development through a long-term relational approach and a pioneering range of activities, all shaped with participants. We work specifically with young parents, young families, 9-16 year-olds on the autistic spectrum and young people needing focused support to increase confidence and skills. We provide support through activity-based groups (e.g. urban music, sport), 1:1 sessions, work in schools, outreach, courses, home visits and residentials.” Neil continued, “The money raised will allow us to continue to make a huge difference to people’s lives. For example, £40,000 would enable us to help 140 vulnerable children and young people to achieve positive outcomes in school and life, through developing emotional resilience, aspirations and skills, as part of our Transitions Programme.” The other charity to benefit, Red Balloon Learner Centre in Cambridge, provides a protective educational environment for badly bullied children who are too scared to attend mainstream schools and who are in desperate need of building up their confidence and learning abilities.
The event is organised by Hewitsons and Grant Thornton UK LLP and is co-sponsored by the Cambridge News. Mike Hughes, Partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP said, “With nearly 150 teams already registered to run in the race, it looks set to be a record year for Chariots. The event has grown each year in size and popularity and we are delighted with the level of support that is given in the local community.”
Race Director and Partner at Hewitsons, Charles Hewitson added, “With the addition of a fantastic new event website this year, we are hoping to get even more support for the charities. We are offering a special prize for the team who raises the highest amount of sponsorship and in the past this has been as much as £9,000!” Photo (Romsey Mill Chariots team): Left to right: Angie Debenham, Levi Wright, James Bennett, Lee Tomkies, Simeon Ferguson, Karl Lewis