Saturday, 16 October 2021
ONE casualty of the coronavirus pandemic was the Henley half marathon, which was due to take place in October.
This is organised each year by Henley Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge and usually raises £10,000 for charity.
Instead. this time runners were challenged to run up Icehouse Hill Lane in Fawley, which forms part of the course, and to donate online instead of paying an entry fee.
This helped to raise £820, which the Rotary clubs voted to donate to the Sue Ryder palliative care hub for South Oxfordshire.
In normal times there would have been a presentation of a cheque to the charity but the lockdown prevented this so Peter Thomson, chairman of the half marathon committee, organised a virtual handover instead.
He met, via Zoom, Gemma Wise and Meghan Bentley, of Sue Ryder, and “passed” the cheque over.
This was highly appreciated by the charity, which has seen its fundraising suffer with its shops closed and events cancelled.
Thanking Rotary for the cheque, Gemma explained that the money would help to provide six visits from a Sue Ryder nurse to patients seriously ill at home.
She said: “With the challenges to fundraising and community awareness that the covid pandemic has caused, we are grateful for the Rotary’s support.
“Our services have continued running throughout the pandemic with our nurses travelling to patients’ homes to care for them.
“But we rely heavily on community fundraising and donations to maintain this, so are hugely appreciative.”
Plans are now being made for the return of the half marathon and 10km on Sunday, October 10 this year.
Peter said: “We are hoping that events like this will be running by the autumn but we will wait until June before we make a final go/no go decision.”
15 February 2021
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