PARENTS, nurses and fundraisers have urged even more people to sign up to support Oxford Children’s Hospital after the OX5 broke the 250 runners mark.

This year’s run will see more than £1m raised for the hospital since the Oxford Mail’s event began in 2003 and could be the biggest yet.

Parents and children as well as nurses and fundraisers welcomed the news that 250 people had already signed up the event – at Blenheim Palace on March 25 – but called for more to help reach 1,000.

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Oxford Mail: OX5 Run logo

Two-year-old Rufus Haskell-Watkins was discharged earlier this week after a brief stay in the hospital suffering from a sickness bug and dehydration.

His mum Maria, whose younger son Dougie has also stayed at the children’s hospital, praised the staff for their care and support.

She said: “I have had two little boys experience the hospital recently and the care has been amazing – it’s everything about the hospital and the care they give that is fantastic.

“The nurses made Rufus feel really comfortable and the play specialists made sure he was entertained and never bored.

“They were so reassuring and kept us informed.

The 37-year-old added: “I’m not able to take part in the OX5 this year but would love to and it’s a great cause to get behind.”

Money from the run goes towards toys, game and vital equipment to help make children as comfortable as possible during their time at the hospital.

It will also help fund a new 62-bedroom Ronald McDonald House parental accommodation unit nearby.

Staff nurse, Martha Kiss, who helped look after Rufus and cares for thousands of other children who pass through the hospital, has signed up to the OX5 Run and urged others to join her.

She said: “We all know someone who has spent time in the Children’s Hospital, whether it’s a family member, a friend’s child or from within the local community – the Oxford Children’s Hospital is a central part of the community.

“Seeing just what is achieved with the money raised from the run, is incredible and makes a real difference to both the staff and the patients across the Children’s Hospital.

“So like me, if you feel inspired and want to make a difference to our patients then lace up your trainers and sign up today.

Joe Baker, of Oxford Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We delighted that 250 people have now signed up to run, walk or jog in support of our very special hospital.

“However we still need the help of families, friends, businesses and community groups to sign up to the event to raise even more money.

“So if you have ever heard about it, read about it or sponsored someone who has taken part – but never signed up before this is your chance to make a real difference to your local children’s hospital – and help us make a real difference to our young patients and their families.”

You can sign up to the run – once again sponsored by Oxford recruitment firm Allen Associates – by going to

It costs £17.50 to enter before February 25 – with proceeds going to the charity – it is suggested each person aims to raise at least £200.