Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Basildon hospital boss set to run the London Marathon

TWO determined women have taken up the challenge to run 26.2 miles in the London Marathon, in support of Basildon Hospital’s Polly Parrot appeal, which raises funds to brighten up children’s wards.

Clare Panniker, chief executive of the hospital, (pictured), has been an enthusiastic runner for 20 years, and although she describes herself as a ‘plodder’, she regularly completes eight mile routes. But this is the first time she has attempted a marathon.

She said: “I have decided to give it a go this year to raise funds for our hospitals’ Polly Parrot appeal, although you’ll be relieved to hear I won’t be wearing the costume!

“Knowing I am raising money for this very worthwhile cause will help keep me going on the long practice runs and on the day itself.”

Also in training for the April event is Hayley Nichols, 32, a nail technician from Billericay. She said: “I grew up in Basildon and am happy to support this wonderful local cause.”

It is Hayley’s first marathon too, but she has wanted to enter since she was 15, when she watched her dad take part.

She added: “My dad, my sister and I all like running, and I think he wanted to do something special as he was approaching 50. I remember thinking when we saw him go by on the Embankment in London that I would love to do that, even though he keeps telling me it’s not easy. My mum says ‘rather you than me’ but she is very encouraging.”

To sponsor Clare, To sponsor Hayley

Money raised by the Polly Parrot appeal will be spent on decoration, distraction equipment, sensory equipment, toys, child-friendly furniture, televisions and other electronic gadgets.

The Polly Parrot appeal has places on offer for other events including the BUPA 10k in St James Park, London on 25 May and a fun walk, ideal for families, at Barleylands Farm, Crays Hill, on 12 July.

For more details, please contact Dee Harris 01268 524900 ex. 2894 or email


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