A call has gone out to Oxfordshire’s business community to rally their staff and enter teams in this year’s Oxford Mail OX5 RUN in aid of Oxford Children’s Hospital.
There are various trophies up for grabs, including the Allen Associates Corporate Cup which is presented each year to the fastest team over the line.
The annual event, which is being sponsored for the ninth year by Oxfordshire’s leading independent recruitment consultancy Allen Associates, attracts business teams of all sizes who walk or run the five miles through the beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace.
Hannah Hale, a senior engineer in the Research and Development department at Siemens Magnet Technology, who was the fastest woman to complete the OX5 RUN last year, is full of praise for the event but is quick to point out that it’s not all about speed.
“Siemens has entered a team for the last five years and it’s been fantastic to be part of it,” said Hannah. “A few of us are keen runners and enjoy a bit of competition but there is absolutely no pressure to be fast and everyone is encouraged to complete the course at their own pace – even if that means walking it.
“The key thing is that when you are part of a team you have a shared experience and an opportunity to bring colleagues together from across the business for a day out, away from work. It’s great for getting to know people and strengthening existing relationships. The OX5 RUN also ties in with Siemens’ staff wellbeing programme and of course we all feel good about helping to support Oxford Children’s Hospital which provides such a wonderful service to so many people in our community.”
Siemens, which designs and manufactures magnets for MRI scanners used in hospitals around the globe from its base in Witney, hopes to enter a team of eight in this year’s run which is taking place on Sunday, 26 March.
The Eden Café, best known for its homemade vegetarian, vegan and gluten free breakfasts, lunches, cakes and great coffee, is another Witney business planning to take part. This will be the first time the Eden Café has entered a team, having successfully galvanised a group of 10 staff and customers.
Sam Couchman, manager at the Eden Café who is a past patient of Oxford Children’s Hospital, will be among those taking part. “We are all really looking forward to the event. It’s a great talking point and it’s really helped to bring people together. It’s a cause close to my own heart and I know others want to do their bit to help too. The owner Rebecca Hinds has been hugely supportive and she will be closing the café for the day, so that she can be there to cheer us on.”
Kate Allen, managing director of Allen Associates who is supporting the OX5 RUN and enters a team every year, said: “This event is without question one of the highlights of our calendar. Our recruitment consultants groan a bit when the training starts but it is such good fun and a great leveller. It’s a wonderful way to get everyone together for a memorable day out joined by family and friends, while raising money for Oxford Children’s Hospital.
“We would love to see even more businesses getting involved. The staff benefits are clear and we all know that happy, motivated people are good for business. In my view, it’s hard to think of a better way to engage with and support the local community.”
The OX5 RUN 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of Oxford Children’s Hospital which is being marked by a special £2 million appeal.
Children’s Hospital spokesperson, Sarah Vaccari, said: “This year’s run is central to our fundraising so we really hope businesses will come out in support of this special local cause and help us make life in hospital that little bit easier for our young patients.”
Businesses are invited to enter a team of five or more and compete for trophies. Individual entries are also welcomed. To find out more and to enter online, please click here.