Hundreds run to support local charity

People ran on Sunday in a Mid Sussex charity’s first major fundraiser since Lockdown measures were eased.

Chailey Heritage Foundation was thrilled to be able to stage its annual Focus 10k in the beautiful Borde Hill Garden near Haywards Heath after the disappointment of not being able to hold it last year.

The 2020 event had to be cancelled last year due to Covid-19 but the Charity took an early decision this year to ensure it could go ahead. There were three running categories – 10k, 5k and Mini Mile – and everything was Covid secure, with meticulous planning, ensuring it was a great success.

Sunday was a wet morning, which meant that the course was a bit muddy, but everyone loved the atmosphere, including the runners, nearly 350 of whom signed up across the 3 race events. Runners were very impressed.

James Moffat, who came second in the men’s 10k, said: “Chailey Heritage put on a brilliant event. It was great fun to attend and the kids loved the Mini Mile, face painting and circus skills. It was a challenging but stunning course.”

Jonathan Sharpe said: “It ;s a very scenic off-road run with a few hills – not a course for a Personal Best but at least the last kilometre is downhill! It was very well organised with a fun atmosphere despite the lack of sunshine and all in support of a great cause.”

The headline sponsor was Focus Group. Brighton Family Panto sponsored the Mini Mile, Batcheller Monkhouse sponsored the water, and the other sponsor was Gemini Print. The charity is very grateful to its sponsors, marshals, staff and volunteers who were all amazing.

All money raised will go towards a new music room at Chailey Heritage Foundation. 

Helen Hewitt, Chief Executive at Chailey Heritage, said: “Firstly, I want to say a very big thank you to everyone who made this event happen. “We were well aware from a very early stage of planning that this would be one of the first family-friendly running events as Lockdown eased. “So it is a credit to everyone involved that it was such a great success”.

Chailey Heritage Foundation receives massive public support – even during challenging times – and we never take that for granted. Sunday was a great example of that, and we are grateful to all the sponsors for their generous support, the runners and their families, our great staff, the volunteers and anyone else who played their part in a hugely successful day.”

Will Folkes, the charity’s Fundraising Manager, said “We are raising funds to build a new music room for the children and young people at Chailey Heritage. “Money raised from the Focus 10k will go a long way towards achieving our aim.”