Stagecoach North East is once again working with a popular North East children’s charity fun run and providing logistical support as the event’s official transport partner.
For the fourth year, the local bus operator will again be operating a Metro shuttle service for North of England Children’s Cancer Research (NECCR) and its 36th Children’s Cancer Run on Sunday 20th May, alongside the park and ride service from Quorum Business Park and Sage Great Park.
As transport partner, Stagecoach North East will provide travel services in and around the event venue of Newcastle Racecourse. The Park and Ride system, which will ease traffic flow around Gosforth Park, will operate as a free service from *Q7 car park at Quorum Business Park on Benton Lane and Sage Park and Ride (Great Park) to the event venue at Gosforth Park. Stagecoach buses will run from 9am every 20 minutes, with an approximate journey time of five to ten minutes between locations.
Employees from the bus company are donating their time to provide a free shuttle service between the Metro stations and Newcastle Racecourse in all directions. The service for runners and spectators will run from the Four Lane Ends Metro and Regent Centre Metro stations to the Children’s Cancer Run at Newcastle Racecourse, starting at 8.45am and running every 30 minutes until 2.30pm.
Celebrating its 36th year anniversary, the Children’s Cancer Run is a 5-mile cross country family fun run in Newcastle set up to raise money for NECCR. The run offers 5-mile, 3-mile and 'mini mile' cross country tracks and is one of the largest single charity run events in Europe.
Every penny raised goes towards the work of the NECCR to improve the lives of children with cancer in the North of England. In 2017, the Children’s Cancer Run raised over £249,000 for the NECCR, adding to the £7 million which has already been raised by the event over the past three decades.
Service development officer David Sharp and six colleagues from the Newcastle, South Shields and Sunderland bus depots are taking time from their normal shift to drive runners and spectators taking part in the popular run free of charge. The local bus operator will be providing six buses for the event, which attracts more participants each year.
41-year-old David from Westoe in South Shields, who works at the head office in Sunderland, is getting involved again for the fourth year running. He said: “The Children’s Cancer Run is such a popular event and attracts runners and visitors from across the region, so we are delighted to come on board as transport partners once more and show our support for such a fantastic event and much loved regional charity.
“We are looking forward to a great day, helping runners and visitors get to the race and back, and ensure a smooth service for everyone. As traffic will be extremely busy, we encourage people to plan their journey in advance and use the free shuttle bus service and park and ride facilities where possible to help keep everyone on the move and ease congestion.
“We want to help reduce travel pressures and hopefully it will make it a lot easier for people knowing the buses will be running every few minutes. We wish the best of luck to all taking part and hope they have fun.”
The Children’s Cancer Run supports many North East families whose lives have been directly affected by childhood cancer.
Six-year-old Fahad Alateef, from Gosforth, was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in February 2017. Fahad received treatment at the Great North Children’s Hospital at the RVI in Newcastle with a four month course of chemotherapy, and was admitted to the RVI twice during these four cycles of treatment. On the second occasion that Fahad was admitted he developed a chest infection which had to be resolved with antibiotics before he could continue with the rest of his treatment.
After four months of intensive treatment, Fahad was allowed to come home permanently and return to school, and now has a check-up every six weeks.
Fahad’s father, Saad said: “Fahad was so excited to rejoin his friends at school and settled back in almost immediately. It was through Fahad’s previous school that we first heard about the NECCR. His former head teacher told me about the charity’s Children’s Cancer Run that takes place at Newcastle Racecourse each year. Schools from across the North East come together for one common cause of raising money to help fight childhood cancers.”
Fahad, along with his dad and mum, Nouf, are very much looking forward to the taking part in the run this year.
Janet Price, Fundraising Manager, NECCR, said: “We’re delighted to have Stagecoach once again provide a free shuttle bus service to and from the Children’s Cancer Run. Thanks to Stagecoach drivers donating their time to run busses throughout the day runners and spectators will be able to access the venue with ease.”
The North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund is a North East children’s charity formed in 1979 by a small group of parents whose lives had been changed forever by childhood cancer. Some parents had lost children, while others were grateful that their children had overcome disease.
Over the past 30 years the NECCR has helped fund research that has established the North East as one of the world leaders in the research of childhood cancer. To date the charity has raised over £30 million.
In September 2016 the new NECCR Research Laboratories were opened, a world class facility inside of the Wolfson Centre for Childhood Cancer Research based in Newcastle.
For more details about the event, visit: www.childrenscancerrun.co.uk. For further information about Stagecoach North East please visit www.stagecoachbus.com