Family to tackle Santa Dash

Vicki Hedger (centre) with her daughters Caitlin (left) and Lois (right)
Vicki Hedger (centre) with her daughters Caitlin (left) and Lois (right)
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A MOTHER and her two daughters will realise a long-standing ambition when they take part in this year’s St Barnabas House hospice Santa Dash.

Vicki Hedger, 44, from Durrington, and her two daughters, Lois, nine, and Caitlin, ten, will join a sea of red Santas on Littlehampton’s promenade on Sunday, November 23.

Vicki has worked at St Barnabas House for the past six years as donations and database manager. She said she felt privileged to work for the organisation, as she gets to see first-hand the ‘wonderful’ work they do and how much the hospice means to the local community.

The Santa Dash has been a long time coming for the family, who had hoped to take part in last year’s 3km Santa Dash but had to pull out due to Lois falling ill.

She was diagnosed with bone marrow failure just before Christmas 2013, and went on to receive treatment earlier this year. She is now recovering well and the family have a wish list of activities they missed out on while Lois was poorly, top of which is the Santa Dash. Vicki said: “When we’re lined up on the start line for the Santa Dash I will be so proud of my girls and my family.

“It’s a really great family event, as many other running events are for individuals or adults only. I will be wearing my Santa suit and Lois and Caitlin will be wearing their Santa hats. We will have a real laugh with the other participants on the day. It’s not a serious event so I expect we’ll be running, walking and skipping our way to the finish line.

“It’s a lovely event that really gets you in the mood for Christmas.”

Lois and Caitlin have already done plenty of fundraising for St Barnabas House and are hoping to raise around £100 in sponsorship money for their Santa Dash efforts.

As well as the money raised, people taking part in the Santa Dash also help to raise awareness of the hospice.

Like many of those taking part, Vicki and her girls will be running in memory of a loved one who received the support and care of the hospice.

The girls are certainly following in their mother’s footsteps. Vicki started fundraising, aged six, when the hospice was still at its old location in Durrington. Since then she has volunteered and fundraised, including running both the London and New York marathons.

She said: “St Barnabas House do such fantastic work, both at the hospice and out in the community. I will be encouraging as many people as possible to take part in the Santa Dash – there’s still plenty of time to sign up, and as well as your Santa suit you even get a free mince pie and medal at the end of the race.”

You can sponsor Vicki, Caitlin and Lois via their JustGiving page – www.justgiving.com/Vicki-Hedger

If you would like to take part, sign up now at www.stbh.org.uk/santadash or call the events team on 01903 706354. Registration costs just £15 per adult; £7 per child (Under 4’s go free); and £38 for a family ticket.

All Santas over 16 will receive a full Santa suit to wear on the day, and under 16’s will receive a Santa hat. Suits and hats can be kept afterwards. All Santas will receive a souvenir Santa Dash medal and refreshments after completing the run.