COMPANIES are being asked to take part in next year’s OX5 Run to raise money for Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Local firms raised thousands last year and the hospital charity is pushing for more of the same after the Oxford Mail launched its fundraising campaign on Tuesday.

Director of fundraising Jayne Ozanne encouraged businesses to compete for the Corporate Cup which goes to the best fundraisers. She said: “It’s such a fun way of getting colleagues together, doing something they all can feel really good about, and also having a little bit of competition in the process.

“The hospital is run – like all successful businesses – on great teamwork, and we’re keen to celebrate this.”

Oxford recruitment firm Allen Associates, who are sponsoring the race for the eighth year running, will once again take part on April 17 at Blenheim Palace.

Managing director Kate Allen said: “The OX5 Run is the highlight of our year. It brings our team together and we enjoy the healthy competition and the daily training stories as everyone prepares for the run.

“We would urge the business community to continue to get behind the run this year and enter teams. It’s a great way to get fit and you can raise money for sick children at the same time.”

Estate agents Scott Fraser came out on top last year after raising more than £3,500.

Managing director David Blythman said: “A couple of women on our team suggested it and it grew from there.

“Local businesses have a responsibility to get involved in the community and raise money for charity.

“We all really enjoyed it and the sponsorship became quite competitive.”

More than £850,000 has been raised for medical equipment, play specialists and toys for the county’s most poorly children since 2003.