Hackpen Hill runners raise vital cash for Brighter Futures

The annual Hackpen Hill Trail 10k returned stronger than ever raising a huge amount for Brighter Futures.

The event was put off last year because of Covid restrictions.

Two-hundred runners and walkers set off from Weir Farm in Broad Hinton to traverse a 10km off-road trail.

The event raised a £4,000 for Brighter Futures, to help cancer patients diagnosed at Great Western Hospital and will go towards a new CT scanner for the Radiotherapy Centre, which is under construction.

This is on top of over £20,000 that past events have raised for Brighter Futures’ Radiotherapy Appeal to help equip the new centre.

The first Hackpen Hill Trail was set up by farmer James Hussey in 2016 in memory of his late wife Gill.

She had to travel many times to Oxford for radiotherapy treatment.

The event is organised by James and the Bailey family, with support from running group The Wroughton Whippets, friends, loved ones and sponsors.

Jane Leighton, major gifts manager at Brighter Futures, said: “This event is a highlight of our calendar and we're so grateful to James, his family, the Bailey family, the Wroughton Whippets, sponsors and everyone who takes part. The marshals and volunteers are incredible.

“Together they have made a very special team, honouring Gill’s life and raising thousands to support cancer patients diagnosed at GWH.

"It’s people like them that have turned the dream of creating a Radiotherapy Centre into a reality, and we can’t thank them enough.

James added “I’m so proud. A big thank you to all the team that have helped.

“Swindon needs the Radiotherapy Centre and I can’t wait for it to open and start treating patients.

“It’s going to make life much easier for people who are going through the cancer journey. It will alter their lives and make it far kinder for them.”

Organiser Paul Bailey, added: “The run is such a privilege and it is so rewarding to hear all of the fantastic comments. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.

“Organising this has all come about after the sad loss of Gill, and organising an event which she would have loved, seems a fitting tribute. It’s great to have the support from my family as well, without them the event just wouldn’t happen.

“I am so pleased to be supporting Brighter Futures, it's an amazing charity and the awesome work they do for the local community is such a privilege to be part of.”