A University of Chester student organised a 5k race to raise cash for a Chester children’s charity.

Natalie Mangan organised the Race for SPACE event after finding out about the charity at a health conference at the university.

SPACE was set up by Jemma Gregory, whose daughter Isabelle has mitochondrial disease, and is dedicated to providing specialist drop-in play sessions for children with additional needs or life-limiting conditions.

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More than 100 runners turned up for the event at Chester Lakes in Dodleston, which was sponsored by the Chester branch of Skipton Building Society, Rotary Club of Chester and Co-operative members.

Race organiser Natalie Mangan

Natalie said: “I was struck by what a need there is for the service SPACE provides. As a mother I have experienced how important it is to have safe, accessible, community-based play opportunities, not only for my son, Harry, but to prevent feelings of isolation in myself by interacting with those in similar situations.

“SPACE has provided wonderful play times for many children with additional needs who would not otherwise get such opportunities. SPACE has also provided vital support for families that need it the most.

“I was inspired by Jemma’s story and all she has achieved and I hope this race for SPACE has helped in some way.”

The event attracted runners of all ages, from beginners to veterans.

Runners Isaac Gregory, Sarah Heal-Jones and Oscar Heal Jones

Jemma: “It was a fantastic morning helped by the lovely weather we had. Thank you to the runners, marshals, volunteers, sponsors and especially to Natalie who worked hard to make it happen.”

The event raised over £3,000 for the charity, who are fundraising to provide a permanent sensory play centre in the area for children with special needs.