Norwich’s young Jack and Olly the Elephant on the run for cancer charity

A very special elephant will be joining dozens of Santas to raise money for young cancer sufferers.

Norwich's Active Norfolk mascot, Olly the Elephant, will be joining six-year-old Jack Smith, mum Gayle Larkman and as many as 100 Santas for a Christmas run in aid of the worthy cause.

Olly, Jack and Gayle were yesterday warming up in their festive outfits at Chapelfield shopping centre in preparation for the Norwich Santa Run and Reindeer Dash to be held on Sunday, December 18, in aid of CLIC Sargent, a UK cancer charity for children and young people.

The event will see hundreds of Santas running around the 2km route at the Sportspark at the UEA. Ms Larkman has supported and taken part in previous Norwich Santa Fun Runs for CLIC Sargent, raising thousands of pounds.

Jack, from Heartsease, was supported by children and young people's cancer charity CLIC Sargent after he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in August 2008, weeks before his third birthday. He underwent intensive chemotherapy in hospital and is now well on the way to full recovery.

His mum, Ms Larkman, said: 'We've supported the Norwich Santa Run for a few years now and we think it's a really fun way to get out in the open air and raise money for a really important charity.

'I would encourage running enthusiasts across Norwich to grab their trainers and their best Santa hats and raise some funds for a charity which provided us with such fantastic support.' The December event aims to raise �10,000 for the charity.

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Last year, 250 people took part in the run and roughly �14,000 was raised. Active Norfolk traditionally start the race, and Olly will be at the front again this year.

'It gets you in that Christmas spirit,' said Ms Larkman, 'when you start doing the run it gets you in the mood, it is a nice family thing to do. It is just a stroll in the park, you can run it if you want to, but you don't have to.

'Jack does tend to do it twice because he runs and then runs back to me. He's got a lot of energy, he's more than recovered.

'I told him all about the Olympics, and Active Norfolk and he decided he wanted Olly to come for tea. I said I haven't got a plate big enough, so now he wants me to buy a big plate.

'I think he'll be looking forward to seeing Olly again and I don't think anyone else will get a look in!'

Chapelfield Mall have paid for radio advertising for the run, and the charitable volunteer organisation Foresters donated �2,000 for track booking and the costumes.

Registration for the fun run is now open and costs �10 for adults and �5 for children age 12 and under. A family ticket is �25 for two adults and up to three children.

For more information and a registration pack please call 01284 829090, text your details to 07876 582650 or email santashelpers@clicsargent.org.uk

Are you doing some special fund-raising for charity? Email joe.wilkes@archant.co.uk

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