A local man is using his daily exercise during lockdown to run every day and help the care, support and activities provided by Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice.
Shaun Jones, from Askam-in-Furness, began running every day on the first day of lockdown and has now ran a minimum of 6 miles each day, for more than 50 days. This challenge is special for Shaun as he runs in memory of his daughter Katie who was cared for at Jigsaw.
Shaun, 43, explained, “There isn’t a children’s hospice in our area, so we would go to Derian House in Chorley. But with me working in Carlisle, it was handy to go to Jigsaw because I could travel up in the car with Katie. Me or her mam would sit with Katie in the back of the car just in case she would have any seizures or choking incidents.
“It was handy coming up to Jigsaw with her because I could go to work and the family could have a day in Carlisle. We could then come home, leaving Katie in Carlisle at the children’s hospice for a couple of days. It was just easy like that.
“Jigsaw has a friendly atmosphere, it was brilliant. It just had a nice homely connection with it. We never had any worries with leaving her, it was brilliant.
“I have raised money for Derian House and for Katie’s school by completing Total Warriors and things like that. Last year, I completed Coniston to Barrow for Katie’s school too. When we did lose Katie, I went around to Jigsaw for a cuppa and I said that I would do an event one day, to raise some money for what they have done for us. It is just giving something back and to show we appreciate things. That’s my drive and I know the fundraising will be appreciated.”
After Shaun’s daughter, Abbie, noticed that he had not had a day off running during the first two weeks of lockdown, he decided to turn his daily exercise into a fundraising challenge. Shaun completes his run early in the morning before heading to work in Carlisle, he also racks up the miles at the weekend by heading out on longer runs as he completes up to 50 miles a week.
Shaun continues, “I thought that I was going to have to flog myself for a 50 mile event, because whatever I do, I can’t just do the same again and expect people to sponsor me. I have to keep building on it and I thought that I would have to do something big. But this lockdown came about and because the government said you could exercise once a day I called them my running tokens, use them or you lose them.
“I haven’t had a day off and I am on day 51 now and that’s a minimum of 6 miles a day. At weekends I will probably take the kids, Jack and Abbie, out on their bikes and will be running for 12 miles. I call them my pace-makers, but I end up waiting for them.”
The money raised by Shaun will help Jigsaw to provide the highest standards of care, support and activities to children and young adults with life limiting illnesses. This care and compassion is extended to all the children and young adults families, friends and carers.
The kindness and generosity of Shaun’s family and friends has already seen him smash his initial fundraising target of £100. Shaun’s initial idea was for people to donate £2 and then to mention it to their friends to see how far he could reach with his fundraising challenge. To date Shaun has raised over £400 in aid of the children’s hospice.
If you would like to sponsor Shaun as he runs every day during lockdown in aid of Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shaun-jones15.
Shaun concluded, “I would be lost without running and the benefits. I could talk to people until I am blue in the face and say the benefits you get out of running. Especially when you go out early in the morning because you see so many things when everyone is in bed. You get the early morning bird chorus, then there is the wildlife, deer, badgers, foxes. You see it all.
“There are sometimes when I can go running and can be thinking about things, Katie, work, anything and there are times when I can run, get back, I can sit down and I haven’t thought about anything. I have been out and done my run, but I haven’t thought of anything.
“I have really benefited from running. I don’t look at it and think that it’s a chore and it’s hard work, I see it as a challenge and I am not easily beaten.”
If you would like to take on your own fundraising challenge in aid of Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice please visit www.jigsawhospice.org