One cold December morning over 50 ‘Reindeer’ took to the runway at London Southend Airport to raise funds for local charities. The results are in and the £5,000 target set by the airport team has been smashed with a total of £7,220 raised.
Finding the positives in this challenging time is essential. The airport is a key part of the community and several initiatives have been launched since the initial lock down in spring last year, from #bearhugs and the poppy display, to food donations via Age Concern and NHS care packages.
On this occasion, airport employees and members of the public came together for the unique opportunity to walk or run down the runway and back – a distance of 3.5km! Members of the public were asked to apply, outlining why they wanted to take part. Sarah McBrearty was a participant taking part in memory of her father who was a member of Vulcan to the sky club.
Sarah said, “I run often and it’s my time out from working front line Ambulances. I completed my Paramedic training in September and with a year of Covid-19 challenges to get the chance to run down the runway would definitely be a massive and much needed highlight of 2020!”
Glyn Jones, CEO London Southend Airport, “It’s great to find positives during a challenging time, the airport plays a vital role in the community and opening up the runway for this unique event has raised valuable funds for local charities. We are thrilled we were able to beat our summer NHS fundraising total! Thanks to all who took part and to everyone who donated.”
Sarah Williams, participant, “I had the most surreal amazing morning running the Southend Airport Runway, I can’t quite believe I did it. I also met the most amazing team of people who work there, I desperately hope the airport returns soon”
Dan Hurrell, participant, “I was blown away by the spirit and support from all of the Southend team in their running of this fantastic charity event. I’m no runner but the encouragement up and down the runway was fantastic.”
Spencer Atkins, participant, “Great event, well organised, staff were fantastic cheering us on, and the mince pies were a lovely bonus.”
Diane Crix, participant, “I thoroughly enjoyed it and appreciate how fortunate we were to have the opportunity which would not have otherwise been possible if not for COVID – so that is one positive to come from the virus!
“I feel really privileged to have had this chance and also that the event will help to raise funds and benefit local charities. Having lived in Eastwood for 33 years, seen the airport expand, and having used it several times, and hope to again soon, it was great to actually walk the runway and feel ‘connected’ to our local asset which is a big part of Southend’s history”.
The airport charity committee will announce charities to be awarded funding in the coming weeks.