TEACHERS and parents at a West Oxfordshire village school are getting ready to take on the OX5 for a third time after being inspired by a pupil's cancer struggle.

A team of 17 from Leafield Primary School, near Witney, have signed up for next month's charity fundraiser and have already raised more than £6,000 since getting involved in the five-mile race two years ago.

Headteacher Christian McGuinness said: “As a small village school, which is very family oriented, we are very aware of how many of our families need the services of the Oxford Children’s Hospital at one time or another.

“We signed up for the OX5 a couple of years ago, after one of our pupils spent a lot of time in hospital and it’s become a staple in our event calendar ever since.”

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Pupil Olly Isley, aged eight, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in October 2017.

About seven staff members took on the five-mile fundraiser at Blenheim Palace in honour of the youngster in 2018.

Last year the school team increased to 17 members of staff and parents, including Olly’s mum and dad Sarah and Tony, taking on the challenge.

Mr McGuinness said the school team were 'really excited' to be involved again, adding: "It’s just such a fun and positive way to give something back to the hospitals and seeing where the money goes each year gives us a real boost.

“I would urge anyone to take part in the OX5 Run, whether you are a runner, walker or a mixture of both. It’s a fantastic event that is at the real heart of the community.”

The Oxford Mail OX5 Run will, once again, take runners around a five-mile course at Blenheim Palace on Sunday, March 29.

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Fundraisers can walk, jog or run the event, sponsored by Allen Associates, all in aid of supporting Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Last year’s was one of the best ever for the OX5 with 1,100 runners raising £150,000 for the children’s hospital.

All money raised goes towards improving equipment and care at the Headington hospital, the children’s ward at the Horton General Hospital and the Paediatric Critical Care Unit.

Joe Baker, from Oxford Hospitals Charity, said: “We are thrilled that Leafield School are back with the same energy, passion and dedication that they bring to the OX5 Run every year.

“It’s always inspiring when a local community get involved and want to help make a difference to our local hospitals."

He added: "It’s still not too late to get involved and run, walk or jog the five-mile route at Blenheim Palace.

"Every penny raised in sponsorship helps Oxford Children’s Hospital Charity make a real difference to the thousands of poorly patients that are treated at the hospital each year.”

Those who sign up by February 28 can take advantage of an early bird discount, which lowers the entry cost to £20.

Visit hospitalcharity.co.uk/ox5run