STAFF at the Oxfordshire Hospital School have put forward a team for the OX5 Run to help fund care for children they work with.

The school provides patients of Oxford Children’s Hospital with an education during long-term and short-term stays.

Members of the team work closely with parents and children who rely on the hospital and they said this has spurred them on.

Helen White, 50, from Woodstock, a teacher at the school, said: “We took part for the first time last year and had such a good time.

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“It was really good fun and also good for team morale.

“We work closely with the parents and children, and they inspire us so we want to do all we can for them.

“We really notice the huge difference the money makes to the children we work with, from play specialists to funding nurses and equipment.”

The school, which works with more than 900 children every year at the hospital, is funded by Oxfordshire County Council.

The team also competed last year raising several hundreds of pounds between them.

Money raised from the Oxford Mail-backed OX5 Run is spent on anything from toys, games and play specialists to vital breathing equipment and nurses.

Victoria Stoneham, from Standlake, near Witney, works as a teacher for children staying on the oncology and respiratory wards.

The 47-year-old, sister of sponsors Allen Associates’ director Kate Allen, urged others to get involved in the five-mile run at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, on Sunday, March 29.

She said: “It’s a wonderful thing to do. When you see the children’s faces as they cheer on their parents and nurses running for them it tugs on the heart-strings.

“It’s a selfless act. We work closely with the nurses and we feel like we are one big unit here.”

Fellow teacher Caron Howchen, 48, from Bloxham, near Banbury, has already started training. She said: “I run 6km every week at the moment.

“The children definitely spur us on.

“We work so closely with them and see the impact the money has — we run for all of our children.”

Oxford Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Sarah Vaccari said: “We are delighted that the teaching team is taking part in the Oxford Mail OX5 Run again this year.

“The hospital school has such dedicated teaching staff and the children just love being there.

“This fun run is all about these young people and making their time in hospital the best it can be and we do hope Oxford Mail readers will sign up today and join us on March 29.”

The event is being sponsored by Oxford recruitment firm Allen Associates for the seventh year.

This year’s race raised a record £114,000.

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