Organisers of the fun run were chuffed with the turn out. Pictured left to right: Alison Pritchard, Alan Drury, Sir Paul Williams, Richie Paskell, Ellie Barnes, Louisa Turner

Festive fun run could be the ‘difference between a life lost and a life saved’

St John Ambulance Cymru said charities across Wales are “feeling the pinch” as people are forced to “think twice” about putting a pound into a bucket.

FROSTY weather wasn’t enough to deter Cardiff families from braving the cold for a Christmas-themed charity fun run over the weekend.

The turnout for the two-mile Roath Park was good news for St John Ambulance Cymru which is facing a challenging time, as Covid-19 and the current financial crisis forces people to “think twice” before putting their pound into a bucket.

Cardiff families braved the cold over the weekend as they took part in a charity fun run. Left to right top: Sarah Jones, Edward Lloyd, Beth Llord. Bottom: Rowan Jones, Martha Lloyd, Eddison Lloyd.

“By people taking part today, it could potentially be the difference between a life lost and a life saved,” said Alan Drury, community and events fundraising manager.

“Covid-19 has had a massive impact. Now things are starting to get back to normal hopefully it will be a more positive year.

“It’s been tough, but every charity is feeling the pinch. And now we have the financial crisis as well.

“Where people may have happily thrown a pound into a bucket, now they’re thinking ‘I might need that pound to buy some bread, or some milk, or top up electric’. People are thinking twice now before making a donation.

“Whatever we get, every pound, makes a difference. We are so grateful because, no one’s aware more than us, it’s a challenging time financially at the moment.”


Non Shafto-Humphries (right) stayed up into the night making her costume and won prize for ‘best dressed mum’. She ran the course with Alasdair Stewart (left).

While this was the first year the charity has held the fun run, Mr Drury said they hope to make it an annual event.

Mr Drury said: “Fundraising for any charity is difficult in the current climate so it’s just the case of trying something new, developing and establishing an event, and hopefully it’s something that grows for us.

“It’s something a bit light-hearted for the end of the year, as well as raising funds so we can carry on with our lifesaving training and work in the community.”

After completing warm up with a team of volunteers, adults and children started off on the two-mile loop, and were greeted with cheers and mince pies on the finishing line.


Arlo Tingley-Dempster, 6, ran around the lake with his parents, Sonia Tingley (left) and Claire Dempster (right), and won prize for best dressed boy.

Volunteer and elf Richie Paskell handed out chocolate to best dressed mum, dad, boy and girl. Best mum went to Non Shafto-Humphries, who spent the night putting the finishing touches on her car costume.

Six-year-old Arlo Tingley-Dempster ran the course with his parents, Sonia Tingley and Claire Dempster, and won the prize for best dressed boy for his efforts as a reindeer.

Martha Lloyd received the prize for best dressed girl, and her dad, Edward Lloyd, won the prize for best dressed dad.


The Lloyd family won a prize for best dressed girl, Martha Lloyd, and best dressed dad, Edward Lloyd.

“It’s not just the children making an effort, but the grown-ups too,” Mr Drury said.

“You can tell they were taking their fancy dress costumes really seriously, which is great. It meant more to them than the kids I think! One of the participants was up all night making their costume.

“It’s brilliant, I love the commitment.”


Alasdair Stewart, Maria, Robert, Elena, and Savina were all smiles after completing the run.

He added: “Hopefully for next year we’ll have even bigger numbers. It’s a cold morning, so we’re grateful for those who have come today for turning out! I am a typical fundraiser, I always like to see more people – but we’re just so grateful for every person, even if it’s just one person, who comes along to support us.”

As well as providing first aid to outdoor events, St John Ambulance Cymru provides many other services, including first aid training in schools. 

“Events like this are great for us just to acknowledge, not just the support from people in the community, but that there are so many ways that people can support St John Ambulance Cymru; whether it’s an individual doing an event for us, taking part in Christmas swims, or half marathons through the year.

“It would be great if people could consider fundraising for us and choosing us as their charity because, like all charities, we desperately need the money so we can carry on doing what we do in the community.”







St John Ambulance Cymru

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