MORE than 50 runners braved the cold and rainy weather to raise more than £1,000 for Wiltshire Treehouse who help bereaved children and young people.

The Ridgeway Run is a trail run of either five or 10 miles starting and finishing in Ashbury. The route takes in Uffington White Horse Hill, Wayland’s Smithy along the Ridgeway and surrounding countryside.

Wiltshire Treehouse facilitates groups for young people, children and their families following the death of someone important to them. Trustees and volunteers from the charity was there to encourage and support the runners.

Sue Ward, chair of the trustees said: “We are very proud of the runners who raised money for the charity. Runners from Pinewood School, Midcounties Co-Op and Infinite Marketing took on the challenges of the Children’s Run, five and 10-mile Ridgeway Runs.

“We are overwhelmed to be the named charity for this year’s Ridgeway Run which will further raise much needed funds for Wiltshire Treehouse.

“The backing of companies and local events like this is so important not only in raising money to allow the charity to continue the vital work with families, but also raising our profile and ensuring as many people as possible know about the work we do if they ever need us.

“These funds help support the running of the groups throughout the year, and also vital training for our volunteers who work directly with families and young people, helping them on their journey through the grieving process.”

The charity’s funds have almost doubled this year and the trustees are currently planning how to reach further families affected by the death of a loved one, by providing more group sessions and training for teachers and other professionals.

Some of the charity’s partners have already begun raising money for the following year.

Infinite Marketing based in Swindon sent a team of 7 runners and has already raised funds for Treehouse by hamper sales.

Midcounties Co-operative , a major partner for Treehouse, sent a team of 5 runners. The group also donated in excess of £15,000 through collections in store, carrier bag sales and the efforts of their staff including Dean Mason, who ran the Swindon Half Marathon for Treehouse earlier in September and raised over £700.

Pinewood School which sponsored the Children’s Run have announced Treehouse as a charity partner for 2018/19.

Next year’s Ridgeway Run will be held on September 21, 2019.