BUSINESSES and sports clubs are accepting KEMP Hospice's challenge to join its biggest Santa Fun Run this December.

The Wyre Forest charity, which provides care and support to people dealing with life-limiting illnesses or bereavement, wants to break the record for the number of Santas running through Brintons Park.

The event has been a firm fixture of the local festive calendar for more than a decade and this year's event on December 1 will see people running, racing, jogging or walking a 10k or 5k route, or taking part in a 25-mile cycle route around the Wyre Forest district to raise funds.

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

To mark KEMP's golden anniversary this year, the charity is hoping to attract 600 participants to signify a Santa for every month since the hospice was formed in 1969.

KEMP Hospice event fundraiser Shelley Stanley said: "We’ve seen teams from all over Worcestershire getting in touch to take part.

"Sporting groups such as Wyre Forest Ladies Hockey Club, 24/7 Fitness, Amazing Feet and Kidderminster Harriers Academy are putting in teams, Worcester-based companies like Evolve Home Energy Solutions and robotics experts RG Luma Automation are joining in too. We’ve even got officers from West Mercia Police signed up!

"We would love to see teams from all over the county come to Kidderminster on December 1 to take part and if we could get 600 people running or cycling that would mean a participant for every month of KEMP’s 50 years.

"We are as committed now to caring and supporting people in our community as we were five decades ago and we can only do that with the fundraising support of people in our community.

"That’s why it’s so important for people sign up for the KEMP Santa Golden Fun Run and Cycle Ride.”

The fundraiser comprises four events: a 10k timed race, a family 5k run, a free children’s 1k Santa Dash and a 25-mile Santa Cycle Ride.

This year, KEMP has teamed up with St John's Social Club of Kidderminster, who are sponsoring the event.

Ruth Mayall, from the club, said: “We as a club have long supported KEMP Hospice through fundraising and championing the vital work they do for the community.

"Many of our members have seen first-hand the services they provide so we are proud to sponsor their Santa Fun Run and Cycle Ride this year.

"Last year, Shaun Marshall from the club was a runner and ran the Santa Fun Run route for 24 hours non-stop.

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

"We’ve already entered a team to take part too and it’s fantastic that businesses and community groups are getting involved too.”

It costs £15 per person to take part in the timed 10k run, £10 for the family 5k and £20 for the Santa Cycle Ride. The 1k Santa Dash is free for children.

Everyone who takes part is asked to raise a minimum of £50 in sponsorship each to mark the charity's 50th anniversary.

People can sign up at kemphospice.org.uk/santafunrun or call 01562 756066.

All money raised will go towards KEMP Hospice, helping to provide free-of-charge specialist care and support to people across the Wyre Forest.