FOAMY fun was had by more than a thousand fundraisers who took part in Helen & Douglas House's Bubble Rush Run today.

Cutteslowe Park was filled with runners of all ages from 10am who raced through four stations of cannons pumping bubbles up to four feet high.

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It was the second year the East Oxford children's hospice has held the Bubble Rush in Oxford, which is a 5k fun run with the addition of multi-coloured foam.

Sounding the starting klaxon this year was Gemma Floyd whose daughter Summer has been visiting Helen & Douglas House for two and a half years.

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The 11-year-old has a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome which sees the youngster have anywhere from one to 100 seizures a day.

The Wantage mum said: "We rely on Helen & Douglas House to have a safe place for Summer to go that she enjoys so we can have a break.

"I can't praise them enough and Summer was so excited to take part in the bubble run."

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Gemma Floyd with daughter Summer. Picture: Keith Worthington

The family-friendly event also featured a Zumba warm up and a performance by Out of the Blue, the Oxford and Oxford University a cappella group.

There was food, drink, ice cream and glitter face painting as well to keep to fun going all morning for the 1,050 competitors.

One of the biggest group's taking part was a team of 27 from Abbott Diabetes Care in Witney.

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The children's hospice is the company's chosen charity for 2019 and Jon Peel, part of Abbott's charity team, said they were already £10,000 towards their goal of £15,000 for the year.

He added: "We went on a tour of the hospice and it was eye-opening to see the amazing work they do."

Another runner with a personal connection to the hospice was Rachel Coleman, who also climbed Kilimanjaro in 2017 to raise money for the charity after her husband Robin was cared for by Helen & Douglas House shortly before his death.

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Rachel Coleman in middle with mum Helen and sister Mary Mann

She said: "The care team arranged for us to get married and within 24 hours had arranged the wedding for us including a red carpet from Robin’s room, a chaplain to marry us and arranged the food for our guests.

"Everyone staying got involved too and even made the flower posies for my bridesmaids, my sister and sister-in-law. It was very special. We would not have had that level of care in hospital."

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She added: "It’s the days after someone dies when it really hits you and Helen & Douglas House were there to look after me and my family which we cannot thank them enough for."

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Each year the hospice needs to raise £3m to keep running, with events like the Bubble Rush Run and December's Santa Run a key part of its fundraising efforts.

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