The second annual Run For Rhys takes place in Croxteth Park this Sunday (26 August), followed by a family fun afternoon.
The 1 Mile Fun Run starts at 11am, followed by the 5K at 12pm, with routes taking runners through the Croxteth Hall and Country Park estate.
There is no lower age restriction to encourage families to take part – run, jog or walk, all welcome.
A programme of entertainment, stalls, and fun activities for all the family will continue until 3pm.
Eleven-year-old Everton fan Rhys Jones from Croxteth was innocently caught in the cross-fire between two rival gangs. He was shot as he walked home from football training in Croxteth. Rhys lost his life on 22 August 2007.
Run For Rhys was created by the Rhys Jones Community Centre in Croxteth last year as an annual positive legacy event in memory of Rhys Jones. The event provides a platform to raise much-needed funds so the Rhys Jones Community Centre can continue its vital work in the local community.
Run For Rhys has the blessing of Rhys’ parents Mel and Steve Jones, who will be joining participants on the start line and taking part for the second year. Mel will take part in the 1 Mile Fun Run, while Steve will run the 5K.
Mel and Steve Jones commented: “Last year’s Run For Rhys was very special, and we were overwhelmed to see so many people take part to celebrate Rhys’ life. It was very inspiring and comforting to us as a family. Rhys would have loved it – and it meant such a lot to us to see people running in their special blue T-shirts.
“The centre does fantastic work with young people and their families. It’s a real part of the community. We hope people stay to enjoy the new family fun afternoon and support the centre.”
Mel and Steve will be joined by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Peter Brennan, and Everton Football Club legend and Club Ambassador Ian Snodin, who will officially start the 1 Mile and 5K fun runs.
Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid recently made a documentary about the Jones family’s fight for justice.
She sent a message of support: “I was honoured to meet Mel and Steve Jones when making the Police Tapes documentary. They are wonderful people who show remarkable strength, courage and compassion in the wake of losing Rhys.
“Run For Rhys is a fantastic, positive legacy in Rhys’ name and memory. I wish everyone good luck and a great day, and I hope the event raises significant awareness and funds for the Rhys Jones Community Centre.”
The Rhys Jones Community Centre first opened in August 2013. Each week the centre welcomes almost 300 young people aged between three and 16-years-old through its doors, as well as 250 adults weekly.
Its key focus areas with young people are building enterprise, business and leadership skills; inspiring change; raising aspirations; and improving health and well being.
Last year’s Run For Rhys raised £4,000 through fundraising and donations – and organisers are hoping to beat that total this year.
Only recently, the youngsters have started a gift shop as part of their enterprise activity. They are making gift sets to sell at the Run For Rhys, with funds going back into this project so it can continue to grow.
While the girls’ club have been creating handmade bunting, which will be used to decorate the arts and crafts activity stalls at this year’s Run For Rhys.
Participants are encouraged to fundraise for the Rhys Jones Community Centre. Sponsor forms are available or donations can be made online and direct to https://localgiving.org/charity/rhys-jones-community-centre-cic/
Following the 1 Mile and 5K fun runs, the fundraising event will continue into the afternoon with stalls, entertainment and fun activities for all the family including arts and crafts, games and sports demonstrations.
The afternoon programme will include performances by Liverpool youngster Astrid Smith from The Voice Kids; beat the goalie with Everton in the Community; climbing wall and fire safety advice from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service; and Merseyside Police community safety team.
There will also be storytelling sessions; donkey rides; face painting; arts and crafts activities; DJ Jay; and Anfield and North Liverpool Boxing Club with their anti-knives campaign, Real Men Don’t Carry Knives. Stalls include hand turned wooden goods; jewellery; textiles; dog accessories; toys; and handmade cup cakes.
Fun run participants will receive a specially designed technical running T-shirt, available beforehand so it can be worn for the run. All finishers will also receive a commemorative medal.
Fun run registration fees pay to stage and deliver all aspects of the event, including race numbers, T-shirts and medals. Register for the 5K or 1 Mile at http://www.btrliverpool.com/run-for-rhys
A virtual run option is also available for anyone unable to take part on the day.
Runners taking part in the virtual run have registered from Broughton, Bury, Chester, Colwyn Bay, Coventry, Diss, Holmes Chapel, Manchester, Nantwich, Peterborough, Reading, Rhuddlan, St Asaph, Telford, Tyne & Wear and Wakefield. As well as overseas runners in Australia, South Korea, and a couple going on honeymoon to Honolulu.
Everyone attending the Run For Rhys and family fun afternoon is also invited to support the Rhys Jones Community Centre food bank to support local families by bringing along an item to the collection point at the event:
- Food items required – cereal; soup; pasta; rice; tinned tomatoes/pasta sauce; lentils, beans and pulses; tinned meat; tinned vegetables; tea and coffee; tinned fruit; biscuits; UHT milk, fruit juice; and baby food;
- Toiletries – deodorant; toilet paper; shower gel; shaving gel; shampoo; soap; toothbrushes and toothpaste, feminine products; nappies; and baby wipes;
- Household items – laundry liquid detergent; laundry powder; washing up liquid.
For more information about the Rhys Jones Community Centre visit https://rhysjonescommunitycentre.org.uk/