Hundreds and hundreds of children of all ages converged on a park in central Minsk, the capital of Belarus, to take part in a fun run to raise money for the Belarusian Children’s Hospice (BCH). Velcom, the second largest mobile telecommunications company in Belarus, promoted the event and, as part of their ongoing support for BCH, sponsored every child who participated. The young runners were joined by Alina Talay who recently won the bronze medal for the 100m hurdles at the 2015 World Athletic Championships. Alina also presented golden cups to the winners in each age category. There was a great atmosphere and lots of enthusiasm for the event which was the first of its kind to be held in Belarus.
The fundraising department at BCH set the wheels in motion for the run after the idea was put to them by Friends of BCH chairwoman Daryl Ann Hardman. It has long been the aim of Friends of BCH to help BCH to become self-funding. In 2009, Friends of BCH provided the salary for the first dedicated fundraiser in Belarus to set up and run the fundraising department at BCH and arranged for him to receive training in the UK. In just a few years, the fundraising department has grown and now raises a significant part of the cost of running BCH but for a while longer they will still be dependent on Friends of BCH for funds and advice in order to provide much needed care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their parents.