CANCER nurses from Oxford Children’s Hospital will be lacing up their running shoes to raise money for the youngsters they care for on a daily basis.

More than 500 people have already signed up for the Oxford Mail’s OX5 Run in March and the latest entrants see first hand just how important money raised from the event can be.

The team from Kamran’s Ward – the hospital’s cancer ward – have once again signed up for the event, as they do every year to support their patients.

Senior staff nurse, Joanna Hall, said money raised from the OX5 Run was vital to the children’s care.

She said: “As the children’s cancer ward at the hospital we see long term patients who spend months at a time in hospital while they undergo treatment and we see first hand the difference that the fun run makes.

“It allows us to offer specialist equipment, teenage areas and a playroom with plenty of toys and games to keep them entertained.”

The nurses look after hundreds of children on the wards, including four-year-old Jacob Capell, from Banbury, a regular patient for more than two years, who has inspired them to sign up to the OX5 again this year.

Ms Hall added: “Each year, as a ward, we get involved because without the run we would not have the special extras that are so important to these poorly youngsters and their families.”

Last year’s record-breaking event raised £126,000 – bringing the OX5 Run, sponsored by Allen Associates for the 10th year running, to just £24,000 shy of £1million raised since its launch in 2003.

Money from this year’s event – at Blenheim Palace on March 25 – will continue to support the building of a new 62-bedroom on-site parental accommodation block, supported by last year’s run and the hospital’s 10th anniversary appeal.

Funds donated last year also went towards a micro-biology scanner that can detect different types of meningitis in just a few hours – an improvement on the current process which takes 72 hours – as well as toys, games and play specialists on the wards.

Joe Baker, from the Oxford Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are delighted nearly 500 people have signed up for our very special fun run in March.

“The money raised helps us make poorly children’s time in hospital that little bit easier.

“We all know somebody whose children have been treated at Oxford Children’s Hospital so now is the time to lace up your trainers and run, walk or job five miles around Blenheim Palace to help young patients and their families."

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

To sign up to take part or for further details visit