Thursday, 25 September 2014

Fundraising - How to Help Kids Run Free

As a charity, Kids Run Free relies heavily on fundraising to have the resources to help those children who need it. Kids Run Free is funded through; sister company Raceways, who give all their profits to Kids Run Free; grants from the government and companies such as Tesco; and the fundraising efforts of its participants, supporters and volunteers. Those of you who read this blog regularly will be familiar with how Justin Mullis, now our volunteering coordinator, supported Kids Run Free with his legendary fundraising challenges, whether it was cycling 575 miles from Ireland to England or his five in five challenge where he ran five marathons in five weeks in cities ranging from Liverpool to Nuneaton.

Because fundraising is so important to what Kids Run Free is and does, I’m going to take you through a few of the ways that you can support our charity.

Raceways is the largest and most constant funder of Kids Run Free. It is a cooperative community company that organises athletic events such as races and triathlons and all the profits it makes go to Kids Run Free

The Big Blue Cuddle (

The Big Blue Cuddle is an online shop which sells children’s clothes. Shoppers can choose to have a percentage of the money they make donated to Kids Run Free, which is one of Big Blue Cuddle’s ‘deserving charities’ along with Action for Children, Heel&Toe and Shooting Star Chase. Big Blue Cuddle will donate:

15% if you spend less than £75
25% if you spend between £75 and £150
50% if you spend more than £150

You can shop on their website and you will be asked to choose a charity to donate to at checkout. Donations are made at no extra cost for you.

Kids Run Free has a dedicated Virgin Money Giving page. Virgin Money Giving is a website where charities can set up their own fundraising pages for people to donate to. You can donate any amount you want and choose whether or not you gift aid it. Gift Aid allows Kids Run Free to claim back tax from the government, giving our charity more money to help kids with.

The Giving Machine is a not for profit social enterprise that allows online shoppers to donate to a charity of their choice every time they make a purchase. Simply set up an account and whatever online retailer you want to purchase goods from, be it Amazon or Next, shop through The Giving Machine. Choose to donate to Kids Run Free and it will receive money from your purchase.

The Ultimate Adventures (

The Ultimate Adventures is an outdoor adventure company that runs hikes and mountaineering trips to places such as Snowdon or Ben Nevis. They are offering a 10% discount for any Kids Run Free volunteers who fundraise for Kids Run Free.

Clothes 4 Charity is a website where people can donate old clothes to provide funding to Kids Run Free. To do this, first register with the website. Choose Kids Run Free from Clothes 4 Charity’s database and they will post a bag for you to put your old clothes in which is sent back to the Clothes 4 Charity. Clothes 4 Charity donate £200 for every tonne of clothes donated.

Many readers of this blog will work for companies and businesses. If you have been inspired by Kids Run Free, work in a business and want to make a real contribution to the health of the local community, build a relationship with Kids Run Free and benefit your business.

As a charity with an aim to improve children's health, working with Kids Run Free allows your company to demonstrate its social commitment to stakeholders, customers, staff and the wider community. It also makes sure your business has its fair share of corporate social responsibility. Your support will help the Kids Run Free deliver events that will have both a short and long term impact on children's health.

Yours Dashingly, Dash

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

KIDS’ MARATHON: 2014-15 School year

So far 4 of the 20 primary schools taking part in Kids’ Marathon this school year have started having fun during their lunchtimes.

What better way to exercise than by doing something that is fun and gives you a sense of achievement? This is what we have been doing at primary schools across the Midlands. 

Martine, our charity Director has been visiting the schools enrolled in this years’ program and spreading the excitement of running to all pupils. 

Kids’ Marathon is an Olympic Legacy initiative that allows children to get into running in their own way. While at present, children rely on their parents to take them to the monthly events, Kids Marathon will bring running into schools, and to the children whose parents cannot attend our usual Saturday morning events.

This initiative is open to children between the ages of 4 and 12.  Children aim to run a full marathon, that’s 26.2 miles, throughout the academic school year by running as much or as little as they want every week in the school playground during their lunch break.

Kids Marathon makes running accessible and friendly to children while allowing them to get the physical exercise they need every week. If and when they complete their kid’s marathon, they get the chance to run the last half mile at the charity’s annually Festival of Running, something that will give them a taste of what it is like to run a real race. They also get a medal and a T-shirt for their efforts. But, some of you already know this as you attended this year’s Festival of Running at Edmondscote Athletics track in Leamington Spa. And what a great day it was!!! Now, imagine how big it will be in 2015 with double the schools taking part.


This year’s Kids’ Marathon started on Monday, 8th September at Hodge Hill Primary School in Birmingham. This was such an exciting day with children running as princesses and super heroes. Some of the older children helped with the project by guiding the younger ones and taking charge of helping to collect the data of how far each child had run.


Councillor Shafique Shah, Mayor of Birmingham, paid the school a visit and as a runner himself supported Kids Run Free’s initiative.

Hodge Hill Head teacher- Laura Kearney was interviewed for BBC West Midlands and explained how important this project is for the children in her school. From 750 children that attend this school 650 of them are taking part in Kids’ Marathon. This is a great way to kick start this school year.

Hodge Hill Primary was followed by: Binley Woods Primary in Coventry - launched 11th September; St Mary’s Primary in Southam- launched 15th September; Hillstone Primary in Birmingham – launched 16th September; Knightlow Primary in Rugby- Lunched 17th September.

The initiative not only helps children get excited about sports and keeps them fit; but also helps the older children gain a sense of leadership and organisation, important skills for life.

We want to thank our sponsors – Bridgestone for all they have given us to make this project possible.

I bet you wished you’d had this at your school. 

To get involved and for more information, please visit:

Yours Dashingly, Dash :)