Children turn out to support George’s charity

ON YOUR MARKS: The Easter Bunny issues race instructions

DOZENS of youngsters ran around Dorchester’s Great Field on Saturday to raise money for Meningitis Now.

The young runners ran laps of the field to make up a 2km run, with the under 8s undertaking a shorter course.

“It’s been great. We’ve got about 70 here today and hope to make it an annual event,” said Naomi Patterson, whose son, George, has inspired a series of fundraising events for the charity under the banner of ‘Team George.

Six of them will be tackling this year’s London Marathon to give a further boost towards the £14,000 target. George suffered pneumococcal meningitis as a baby and has been in and out of hospital for much of his ten years.

“They thought he wouldn’t live for six months but he’s going strong,” said Naomi on Saturday as George was being prepared to take on the course, with a little help, in his wheelchair.

Many of the mums and dads supporting their children for the fun run were out again on Saturday evening to raise even more money for the charity with an Elvis tribute night at the Colliton Club. First home in the over 8s race was Sebastian Emery-Best, nine, who had warmed up for his one-lap lead earlier in the day by taking part in the Weymouth Park Run.

First girl home was Olivia Phillips, also nine.