Fab Four parkrunners raise £500 for charity

Andrea Sullivan, Chelsey Meadows, Jennifer Stewart, Amy Holland, Cathy Gibb-de Swarte and Julie Murfitt

Andrea Sullivan, Chelsey Meadows, Jennifer Stewart, Amy Holland, Cathy Gibb-de Swarte and Julie Murfitt - Credit: LYN GIBB-DE SWARTE

A group of Littleport Parkrunners who dressed up in bunny ears and tutus for their 5k Easter Sunday run have raised £500 for a children’s charity. 

Chelsey Meadows, Andrea Sullivan, Julie Murfitt and Cathy Gibb-de Swarte decided to raise funds for Spectrum, who provide events, sessions, and support for families of children with autism, additional needs, learning difficulties and disabilities. 

 Julie Murfitt, Andrea Sullivan and Amy Holland. Front row: Cathy Gibb-de Swarte and Chelsey Meadows

Back row: Julie Murfitt, Andrea Sullivan and Amy Holland. Front row: Cathy Gibb-de Swarte and Chelsey Meadows - Credit: Julie Murfitt, Andrea Sullivan and Amy Holland. Front row: Cathy Gibb-de Swarte and Chelsey Meadows

The 'Fab Four’ have already raised funds for the Cancer for Life charity last year among other good causes.  

Chelsey has previously run four virtual half-marathons with her running friends taking turns to accompany her in relay. 

They have also previously ran five or 10ks around the village in social distancing pairs. 

Littleport Parkrunners dressed up in bunny ears and tutus for their 5k Easter Sunday run

Littleport Parkrunners dressed up in bunny ears and tutus for their 5k Easter Sunday run - Credit: CATHY GIBB-DE SWARTE


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Chelsey said: “Because autism has affected my young family, and it is national Autism Awareness Week, I wanted to do something to help raise funds.  

“When Cathy talked to her friend Kim Oakhill from Sigma Embroidery & Printing about getting shirts and caps printed for the event it all fell into place.” 

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The pair’s running team was then completed by Chelsey’s cousin Amy Holland and friend Jennifer Stewart. 

Cathy Gibb-de Swarte and Chelsey Meadows

Cathy Gibb-de Swarte and Chelsey Meadows - Credit: CATHY GIBB-DE SWARTE

“Spectrum are very good customers of Sigma, so Kim immediately got in touch with their founder member Justin Heron, who was more than happy to provide t-shirts from his stock,” Cathy said.  

Instead, the money the runners would have paid to Sigma for their printed merchandise emblazoned with ‘Run 4 Autism Awareness’ would be donated to Spectrum themselves.  

Chelsey then set up a fundraiser on social media and it wasn’t long before BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s Johnny Dee visited Littleport to interview her and Cathy.  

Littleport Parkrunners Chelsey Meadows and Cathy Gibb-de Swarte with BBC Radio Cambs host Johnny Dee

Littleport Parkrunners Chelsey Meadows and Cathy Gibb-de Swarte with BBC Radio Cambs host Johnny Dee - Credit: CATHY GIBB-DE SWARTE

After the interview, Chelsey said: “I am so grateful to Johnny for taking such an interest in our efforts and helping more people to understand about autism.” 

Kim added: “Sigma Embroidery and Printing have been working with Justin who founded the fantastic charity Spectrum for many years now.  

Littleport Parkrunners dressed up in bunny ears and tutus for their 5k Easter Sunday run

Littleport Parkrunners dressed up in bunny ears and tutus for their 5k Easter Sunday run - Credit: CATHY GIBB-DE SWARTE

“The hard work and dedication of Justin and his family has helped the charity to grow.  

“They have helped so many families with children with autism and special needs.”  

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