EAGLE-Eyed spectators at Chester Half Marathon may be able to spot some marvellous martians running through the city streets on Sunday, May 17.
An intrepid group of women from Chester will be dressing up as alien life forms for The Chester Half Marathon this weekend in support of the charity SPACE, an organisation dedicated to providing specialist drop-in play sessions in the Chester area for children with additional needs or life-limiting conditions.
A co-founder of the charity, Jemma Gregory, is a mutual friend of those taking part and it’s been her dedication and tireless fundraising that inspired the novice runners to take the plunge and get involved.
One of the runners, Katharine Harvey, 41, of Hoole, said: “We’ve all decided to support SPACE as we’ve seen how hard our friend Jemma has worked to set up a new charity to provide a stay and play, and parental support group for local children with additional needs.
“We’ve been training hard, and have all run the full distance in training, so are hopefully ready to complete the distance on race day.”
Jemma’s daughter, Isabelle, was born with a mitochondrial disease affecting brain function including her hearing and sight.
Isabelle is now three years old and Jemma says the ‘roller coaster ride’ of being the parent of a child with additional needs has opened her eyes to a world she and others never expected to be part of.
Mum-of-three Jemma, who runs SPACE with friend Claire Edge, said: “Being the parent of a child with special needs can be confusing, lonely and challenging. I’m hoping that this project will provide a space for families to meet and gain support from each other, alongside a space for children to access appropriate play opportunities and have fun.”
Katharine, who will be joined by Louise Smith, 36 and Rachael Landen and two other runners, added: “The aim of SPACE is to provide local, fun, safe and accessible environment in which children with disabilities and additional needs can play.
"They also provide opportunities for parents and carers to meet and provide mutual support. We aim to raise £500 to buy specialist sensory toys to be used to stock the SPACE toy library. Toys can be bought as soon as the target is reached, so the children can start to enjoy them as soon as possible.”
To donate, visit - https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Spacerace and to learn more about SPACE visit http://www.spacecheshire.org/