Harpole residents, young and old, took part in the fun run to raise money for Olivia's Smile

Pictures: Northampton villagers take part in fun run to raise money for child bereavement charity

"The village marathon is a way of raising awareness and the all important funds for this charity to support people through the impossible"

Monday, 10th May 2021, 4:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 9:40 am

Residents from a village near Northampton took part in a fun run to raise money to help launch a children's bereavement charity.

Harpole locals ran around their village for the second consecutive 'Not the London Marathon' event, and this time all funds were being raised for Olivia's Smile charity.

The charity is in the process of being set up by former Harpole Primary School teacher Aimee Wood following the death of her five-year-old daughter Olivia, who had a heart condition and died due to complications with surgery in February 2020.

Following Olivia’s death, Aimee saw the effect it had on her classmates and other children who knew her, as well as the difficulties it caused teachers and parents who were unsure of what to tell Olivia’s friends.

So now, in her daughter’s memory, Aimee wants to launch a charity called Olivia’s Smile, which will provide grieving young children and schools the resources to deal with a death in their class.

She has so far, as of Monday (May 10), raised £2,779 out of her £5,000 target.

Harpole's Not the London Marathon organiser Kate Gardner said: "After the success of last year's event we thought we would give it another go this year. And while we’re not expecting the event to be as popular as last year it’s great to get out and get active, the kids love it and we’re raising money for a brilliant cause, Olivia’s Smile."

Harpole resident Abbie Tarpley said: "Olivia was a beautiful, fun, confident, gorgeous, five-year-old little girl who sadly lost her life after heart surgery last February.

"After her devastating loss it was painfully clear that there was not enough support in schools to help the children and the school community deal with the death of a pupil, which is where this wonderful charity comes in."

Harpole resident Selina Gaughy said: "This is a subject very close to the hearts of people in Harpole, for various reasons, and the village marathon is a way of raising awareness and the all important funds for this charity to support people through the impossible.

"This was so much fun last year, it gave all the village something to smile about in lockdown. It’s something for all ages!

"The village Netball team, The Lilywhites, took part in the run dressed as Minnie and Micky mouse, which was a hit. Harpole Preschool's Purple Ladies were dressed as sharks! We’ve also had one gentleman run around the course 17 times completing a full marathon!"

If anyone would like to know more, head to the Facebook page Olivia’s Smile or to donate directly to the GoFundMe page, click here.

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