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Junior and Mini GNR success

Hi Sunshine New readers,

Well our runners, wheelers and walkers deserved their moment in the sun at this years Mini, Junior and Accessible Great Run events and they certainly got it! The Mini and Junior Great North Runs took place on Saturday, October 8, on Newcastle and Gateshead’s iconic Quayside, after being rescheduled following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and it was our absolute honour to share this day with so many of our families and supporters.

We bathed in the October sunshine (for most of the day, it is the North East after all) and the Quayside was full of supporters cheering on the children and young adults, many of whom were running to raise money for charities which they have personal links to. This was certainly true for Team Sunshine, and in total Great North Run events have raised over £30,000 for the charity this year.

A special well done goes to our campaign sponsors, True Potential, whose 12 runners raised a phenomenal £20,000 in total, which included a very generous donation from the Harrisons Foundation.

The Mini, Junior and Accessible Great North Run events give us the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of all the children who take part, either as supporters or beneficiaries of The Chronicle Sunshine Fund or as supporters of other charities. We are lucky to live in a region with so many fantastic causes doing incredible work in our communities and with people in need.

Regular Sunshine news readers will know that I'm always championing collaboration with other local charities, I really do feel that by working together we create better support and opportunities for our beneficiaries. Mini and Junior day really is a special day where everyone comes together in an incredible atmosphere.

It’s amazing for us to catch up with our families in our VIP zone at the Urban Garden and we want to say a huge thank you to Dan and his team and all at NE1 for ensuring we have this designated, accessible space each year. It is so important that our families have this space and we are exceptional grateful for all the ways Dan and NE1 ensure this area is appropriate for the needs of our children.

It’s always a proud and emotional moment for us to see children we have supported with wheelchairs and walking frames cross the finish line using the equipment we purchased. As a small team fundraising in difficult circumstances it really does make all the hard work worthwhile.

We want to say a huge thank you to our friends at True Potential for sponsorship of this year's Mini and Junior Great North Run campaign, and for joining us for all the action on the day. We also want to thank the fantastic team at True Colours Theatre Group and Dreams on Moonbeams whose characters joined us to spread some magic.

We absolutely loved watching the children’s reactions when Anna and Elsa cheered them on to cross that finish line, or when Captain America high fived them for a race well run. Our runners and wheelers loved meeting the princesses and receiving their Greggs gingerbread man from Batman!

It was also wonderful to catch up with many of our families who joined us for their children's runs or in many cases, for the whole day! We love hearing about how all the kids are progressing and growing and we feel extremely proud that you share your journeys with us.

We are so grateful to all our supporters for donating to the charity throughout the year so that precious moments like these can happen. We can honestly say this event is our favourite event of the year and plans are already in place to make next years campaign even bigger! But first, Christmas…. (Yeah I went there!)

Look out for important information about this years extended Accessible Santa's Grotto coming to a Sunshine News column soon. Oh and there is the very small matter of Lauren and I spending the night at the UKs most Haunted Castle but I'm trying not to think about that if I'm honest. Maybe if I keep humming Christmas tunes I can block our trip to Chillingham out…

Siobhan X