Clad in the iconic Haven House purple t-shirts, around 110 supporters came together to unleash their inner love for mud on Saturday 23 September.

Held at Nuclear Races in Kelvedon Hatch near Brentwood, the 1.5km to 3km muddy adventure, saw children, adults, and celebrities, run, climb and wade through water and obstacles to fundraise for the much-loved hospice.

Joined by reality television stars Billie and Greg Shepherd and Samantha Faiers, the fun-loving participants may have emerged from the course covered head-to-toe in mud (twigs and leaves) but having raised an amazing £15,000 for the Woodford-Green based hospice. 
Among those taking part were Orla’s Angels – a team of 20 friends and family, who completed the challenge in memory of two-year-old Orla Tuckwell, who died of a rare brain tumour in August. Orla spent her final days at Haven House. 

Mum Naomi Tuckwell said: “When Orla relapsed and there was no longer a cure, we were under the palliative care team at Great Ormond Streeet Hospital as well as Haven House, as it was our nearest children’s hospice. When we left hospital, we wanted to stay at home as long as possible to make memories with Orla, but she became unwell very quickly. We started having support at home daily from the Haven House team before we then moved to the hospice.”

Haven House provides physical, emotional, and practical support for seriously ill children and their families. Orla’s family were able to be together in the hospice’s family flat, while Orla received the 24/7 specialist care she needed. 

Naomi continued: “It took the pressure off us having to be her carers as well as parents. Whilst there, her sisters Ava and Poppy got to take part in music therapy, yoga, woodland trails, outdoor arts and crafts. This helped make it a positive experience for them whilst their baby sister was in her final days. We even got to take Orla outside in the sunshine and sit in the beautiful grounds.

"The staff supported us as a family and made sure we had everything we needed. We cannot express how deeply grateful we are to Haven House for the care and compassion they showed us. The people that work there are truly special people. Thank you to all our amazing friends for taking on this challenge with us in memory of Orla and raising a large sum of money for such a wonderful place.”

Reiko Murray, Haven House’s Senior Community and Events Manager, said: “That was a blast. We were promised mud, and we sure got it! We would like to say a massive thank you and well done to everyone who took part in our first mud run. Every penny raised will mean the world to our families. 

“Being told that your child is seriously ill is devastating. This is why Haven House is here. Our support is a vital lifeline to 400 children and their families in our local community and it is thanks to our generous supports that we are able to provide our specialist care when it matters most.”