2016 proved to be a record breaking year for Chariots of Fire with over £138,000 raised for Papworth Hospital Charity, its highest ever amount in any one year.
The giant cheque, in size and value, was presented to representatives of the Papworth Hospital Charity by the event organisers, Hewitsons Charitable Trust, on Wednesday 18th January.
During the presentation, acknowledgment was also given to team 178 ‘The Newmans’ who alone contributed an impressive £13,850, by far exceeding all other sponsorship amounts raised by one team. This money, raised through Chariots of Fire, will now support Papworth Hospital Charity in seeking to respond to the worldwide shortage of donor hearts. It shall specifically contribute towards the funding of their pioneering technique - DCD Transplantation - and could increase the number of hearts available for transplantation by 40% and save hundreds of lives as the heart transplant waiting list continues to grow. Their innovative and ground-breaking technique enables surgeons to utilise donor hearts which were previously considered too damaged to transplant – known as non-beating heart donors.
Over the course of 25 years, Chariots of Fire has raised in excess of £1million for a variety of worthwhile local charities. Celebrating its 26th anniversary this year on Sunday 17th September, the regions longest running charitable relay race, looks set to continue this established trend in its attempt to raise thousands of more pounds for this years selected charity, to be announced in May 2017. Team entries for the race this year open online https://www.chariots-of-fire.co.uk/enter/ also in May 2017.
Charles Hewitson said: “As race director for Chariots of Fire I am delighted to witness this extraordinary achievement which has greatly exceeded the original, but no less ambitious, target of £120,000 set by Papworth Hospital Charity. The continued level of support extended to each charity by the Cambridge Community and the generosity provided by each of the Colleges and our event suppliers is further testament to the appeal of Chariots and I would like to thank every participant for this support.” Stephen Posey, Chief Executive of Papworth Hospital said: “We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of all those involved in raising a huge amount of money to support a pioneering transplant programme at Papworth Hospital which will transform the lives of critically-ill patients in our care. On behalf of Papworth Hospital, I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who entered the race, donated, volunteered and of course to Hewitsons Charitable Trust; your generosity will make a huge difference to our patients not just here and now but in the future.”