Family touched by hospice care call for sign-up to fundraiser

A Barnsley mum who lost her grandma to cancer is encouraging people to sign up for the Barnsley Hospice Bubble Rush.

Claire Coles, 36, volunteered at the event last year. She will be there again with her family when the 5km fun run, which sees participants blasted with coloured bubbles around the route, returns to Locke Park on Sunday 22 July.

Claire’s grandmother Mavis Ashton was cared for by Barnsley Hospice for three months before her death in June 2017 at the age of 83.

A few weeks later, Claire volunteered at the event’s ‘green bubble station’, cheering on runners along with daughter Chloe, 13. Her other children; Caitlin, 16, Mason, 9, and five-year-old Jessie, gathered sponsorship to take part. They will all be returning again this year.

Claire, who lives on Darley Avenue in Athersley South, said: “Our family got involved with the Bubble Rush because of the amazing care the hospice gave not only to my nannan, but to all of us as a family unit. It was our way of attempting to say thank you for everything they did for us, and for everything they continue to do.

“We had sad times at the hospice but we also had happy moments too. For example, we got the chance to have a small tea party for my grandad’s birthday in the homely living area, where the kids got to spend time with their great grandma for the final time. I’m so grateful for that time we had.”

Getting involved in the Bubble Rush is part of a major fundraising drive by the Coles family. Inspired by the care that Mavis received at the hospice, last year Claire’s husband Gavin joined forces with family friend Steve Gilbert to commit to 18 months of fundraising for the charity. Over £5,000 has been raised so far, through taking part in extreme physical challenges and running online raffles. The 2018 Bubble Rush will be one of the final events completed by the family.

Claire added: “Last year’s Bubble Rush was a much-needed family day out after losing nannan just a few weeks before. It was a chance for the kids to run riot and have a laugh whilst raising money for a great charity and holding her close in our thoughts. I encourage everyone to sign up – it really is great fun!”

Last year’s inaugural Bubble Rush saw almost 1400 people tackle the 5km course, raising over £30,000 in sponsorship.

‘Earlybird’ entry is now available at a cost of £15 per adult and £10 per child, before prices rise in April. Family tickets are also available.

The Bubble Rush is once again sponsored by Doyle Security. To enter at the reduced rate, or call 01226 244244.