Duck Race - Hope House Hospice

The annual Harry’s Duck Race in support of Hope House Children’s Hospice is back in Nantwich to celebrate its 10th anniversary – but this time held virtually.

The first duck race event was held back in 2010 in memory of a four-year-old Harry Jones, who died in his sleep in 2004 due to an undetected and undiagnosed heart condition, cardiac arrhythmia.

Julia Jones, Harry’s mum, has been organising fundraising events for Hope House every year since Harry’s death.

But due to Covid-10 restrictions, its tenth year event on September 27 will involve four virtual duck races held in mystery locations in Nantwich as well as Flintshire, Oswestry and Anglesey.

The event held every year has raised around £20,000 over the last decade.

Julia said: “No one expects to lose a child.

“Harry just went to sleep one day and never woke up.

“As a family we are left devastated. He was a four-year-old boy who was full of energy and life.

Harry Jones - annual duck race in his memory

Harry Jones

“Harry was a real character, full of mischief and much older in his ways than his four years.

“In fact, that’s perhaps what I miss the most – his fun-loving personality. He was always up to something.”

Julia and Harry’s dad Jeff couldn’t stand the thought of Harry lying in a hospital mortuary and were grateful Hope House Hospice allowed him to rest in their special Snowflake Room.

“Thanks to the Snowflake Room, a room specially designed so parents can be with their deceased children before the funeral, we were able to sit with Harry and say our goodbyes in a warm loving environment, it meant a great deal,” said Julia.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us over the last 10 years and had made the duck race what it is.

“It’s amazing how much it has grown over the years, it doesn’t feel that long ago that we started the duck race following the teddy bear walks we held before.

“Of course, this 10th event will be slightly different due to Covid-19, but Hope House need our support more than ever, so please support us and take part if you can.”

Hope House Children’s Hospices head of fundraising Alison Marsh said: “Every week, three local families face their biggest fear and their child dies.

“Hope House Children’s Hospices cannot stop children dying but we can stop families suffering on their own.

“We need to raise in excess of £6m a year to support all the children and families we help from across North Wales, Shropshire and parts of Cheshire.

“That’s why it’s so important that we are supported by event such as Harry’s Duck Race, even during these difficult times.”

Ducks can be bought for £1 each and you can buy as many as you like.

For information on the races visit www.hopehouse.org.uk/Event/harrys-duck-race

Deadline for buying small ducks is September 20 and small ducks can be entered into a heat at your chosen location on the day of the duck race.

You can also the Dress Your Duck competition, and for a donation of £20 entrants will receive their very own big duck in need of a lockdown makeover.

Dress and decorate the duck to win a prize in categories such as overall best-dressed duck, best celebrity duck, best politician duck, best sporting duck and best effort.

To enter your big duck from the Hope House website, take a photo of your duck, dressed and ready to be judged by the Mayor of Wrexham and email to [email protected]  by September 20.

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