Every Saturday morning, 12 year-old George Bryant-Nichols from Littlehampton, heads to Hotham Park to take part in the Bognor Regis 5km parkrun. The weekly event forms part of a wider challenge, which George set himself just after Christmas – to run 50 parkruns, as well as the Worthing 3km and RunWisborough 5km, by Autumn 2017 – all to raise money for Chestnut Tree House. He completed his challenge on 16 September and visited Chestnut Tree House on 25 October to present a cheque to the charity.
George’s fundraising for Chestnut Tree House began when he was just nine, when he undertook his first running challenge. He followed this last year, aged 11, and raised £150. So far his 2017 running challenge has raised £735, and he has a new personal best of 27:15 for running 5km.
George said: “I really want to raise as much money as possible for Chestnut Tree House because it is an amazing charity that looks after children with life-shortening conditions and their families. They get very little funding from central government, so I know that any donations and support are appreciated. I love running and hope to continue taking part in more runs for Chestnut Tree House as I get older. I’m so pleased that I’ve exceeded my £500 target by raising £680 for this 50 parkruns challenge.”
In addition to running to raise money for Chestnut Tree House, George, along with his sister, helped handing out medals at the Littlehampton 10k in September. He was also part of the official cheer squad at the Worthing 10k in May and helped out with refreshments at the 100k bike ride last year.
Caroline Roberts-Quigley, Community Fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House said: “We are incredibly grateful to George for everything he has done for Chestnut Tree House. It’s inspiring to see someone so young really engage with us as a charity and want to help – both in terms of raising funds and helping out at events. Everyone at Chestnut Tree House would like to congratulate George on completing his 50 parkrun challenge and say a massive thank you for all the support.”
Chestnut Tree House provides care and support to around 300 children with life-shortening conditions and their families across East Sussex, West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and South East Hampshire. The cost of providing this vital service is over £3.5 million per year, yet the hospice receives less than 7% central government funding so relies heavily on the support of the local community to continue providing vital care to local children and families.