A fond farewell to the Boxing Day Challenge

It’s with much sadness that Winston’s Wish has made the difficult decision to no longer host the annual Boxing Day Challenge held at Cheltenham Racecourse.  It has been a difficult decision to make – and one which we recognise may bring disappointment to some of the local community in Gloucestershire, especially those who have attended for many years.

The reason for the decision is purely financial.  As a charity – whose primary purpose is to support grieving children – we have a duty of care to ensure that everything we do will result in the greatest possible impact for the children and families who need us.  It’s therefore essential that any fundraising events we organise are profitable enough to justify the time, resource and expense needed to make them happen:  they must not only cover their own running costs, but also generate vital funds to enable us to continue running our services.

Whilst the Boxing Day Challenge is a fantastic community event – and one which we are immensely proud to have been associated with and involved in – over recent years it has consumed a great deal of the charity’s stretched resources and has proven difficult to secure corporate sponsorship for.  We cannot run an event, no matter how loved and enjoyed, if the costs of it now outweigh the amount of money we are able to raise. To do this would take vital funds from the children and families that we support and that is something that we cannot allow to happen.

This has not been a straight forward decision and we sincerely regret that we are no longer able to resource this event, but we must remain focussed on our vision and mission as a charity – and for that reason we are completely confident that this is the right decision for the children and families who need us, during such a difficult time.   We hope that the local community will understand and support this decision.

As we step back and reflect, we would like to celebrate the heritage of the Boxing Day Challenge and all its successes.  We would like to say a very special thank you to the Brewer family, who gifted the event as a fundraiser to Winston’s Wish in 2008, and without whom the last decade of Boxing Day Challenges would not have happened.

Finally, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to everyone – sponsors, runners, fundraisers and volunteers alike – who have supported the event, and therefore Winston’s Wish, over the years.

We now look ahead to the future, and to the arrival of new and exciting initiatives on the horizon.

Thank you.