KIND-HEARTED runners in Darlington have surpassed all expectations to
support this year’s Star Radio Toy Appeal.

The Social Run Group that takes place on a Monday night, whatever the
weather, is open to everyone regardless of ability and is completely free.
Dan Rowlands, manager of Up & Running decided to make the Christmas Run
a very special one for this charity, and asked runners
to bring along a toy, which will be donated in time for Christmas, to
support under-privileged children across County Durham and North Yorkshire.

Ninety-four runners came along on Monday night for the 5k run, and
everyone brought a gift. 124 toys were donated on the night with more to
follow the next day. The popular Monday evening event
has built a real sense of community among its runners and local mum,
Michelle, has nothing but praise for Dan.

“My son has autism and learning difficulties” said Michelle, “he has
always liked running but since Dan started the Monday night Up and
Running social runs he now loves running and we never miss a Monday. My son is really
anxious and hasn’t many friends but now he’s happy and says he has lots
of friends. Dan is great with him, very friendly always watching out for him and
encouraging him and everyone else. I’ve never seen my son so keen to get
out and run .”

Whether you’re a new runner or not, if you fancy joining the group, you
will be made very welcome. The run leaves from Up & Running at Bondgate,
Darlington at 6.00pm on Monday nights. If you need more information pop in to the
shop and have a word with Dan, Suzie, Natalia or Jade.