The Oxford Mail has been shortlisted for a national award as part of Local Newspaper Week and we need our readers’ vote.

Over the past 15 years, hundreds and thousands of people have joined us at the start line in the grounds of the county’s picturesque Blenheim Palace to raise money for Oxford’s Children’s hospital.

Now the judges of the ‘Making a Difference’ award have recognised the important role that the OX5 plays in bringing together our community by nominating The Oxford Mail for a national award.

This year’s OX5 is poised to break the £1million mark raised for the hospital since the race began in 2003.

More than 1,000 runners descended onto the grounds of Blenheim Palace on March 25 to run, walk or jog the five-mile course in charitable spirit.

Working in partnership with the hospital, we ran dozens of stories in the lead up to the race and have now been nominated for the ‘Making a Difference’ award.

The award, which marked the start of Local Newspaper Week, aims to showcase the best campaigning work of local papers across the nation and show the difference they make to their communities.

Inviting readers and members of the public to vote for their favourite campaign online over the course of the three days, the 27 nominees for the award are showcased on the Making a Difference webpage.

The record-breaking OX5 run that was documented by us throughout lead up, painted the grounds of the country house with colour and fancy dress to raise funds for the vital work that the hospital does.

The cash raised beat last year’s total of £126,000 which helped the hospital buy lifesaving new equipment like the BioFire machine, a specialist system that speeds up the diagnosis of meningitis and sepsis in youngsters within just two hours.

The winner of the award will be announced at a special event in London on Friday by Chairman of the News Media Association, David Dinsmore, which means you only have limited time to cast your vote.

Backing the competition is Oscar winning actress Rachel Shenton, who posted an article supporting local newspapers during the national week.

She wrote: “I am a huge supporter of local newspapers because they do so much good for the communities they serve.

“Having attended for the past four years, I have seen first-hand the enormous boost these awards give to the local community.

“They shine a spotlight on those who go the extra mile to help other people, often with little or no reward for themselves.

“They inspire others to follow their example.”

The Silent Child actress stressed the importance of the competition continuing: “I’ve given just one example of why I believe local newspapers are so important. But, of course, there are many more.

“Local journalism, trusted and accurate news information produced by local papers, is more important than ever before in the age of ‘fake news’ spread via social networks.

She added: “We rely on trained local newspaper journalists to separate fact from fiction and get to the truth, even if powerful interests would rather it remained hushed up.

“In addition to holding the powerful to account, journalism has other important benefits such as promoting literacy.

“And the Making a Difference campaigns for this year’s Local Newspaper Week show exactly how local newspapers can bring about real positive change through powerful editorial campaigning.”

Across the UK there are 1,000 local media titles and joining the Oxford Mail in the competition are 26 of those local titles from across the nation.

Data from YouGov 2018 shows local newspapers in print and digital are read by 42 million UK adults.

Ms Shenton continued: “So, during Local Newspaper Week, which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary, I am urging all those reading this to stand up for their local paper.”

Voters and readers can follow the competition on social media using the hashtag #MakingaDifference.

The vote, which does not require registration , will close tomorrow evening at 5pm.

For more information visit

To vote for the OX5 run click here