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Foundation for stabbed student Molly McLaren reaches milestone

Friends of Molly McLaren, the University of Kent student, who was stabbed to death at a Medway shopping centre have set up a fund-raising foundation in her memory.

The Molly McLaren Foundation has reached a milestone raising more than 20-thousand pounds and is preparing to hold its first events.

The money will be shared by charities for people with eating disorders - a condition Molly battled with and talked about publicly - to help other sufferers.

Sarah Saunders spoke to Molly's friend Amy Lee who set up the fund raising group; and Molly's friend and fellow student Jennifer Hamer who has been organising one of the Foundation's first events.

Stormtrooper raises more than £10,000 for sick children

Jez Allinson holds the world record for 'fastest marathon dressed as a Star Wars character' Credit: Jez Allinson

May the fourth is known as Star Wars Day.

A 42-year-old Oxfordshire man is using the opportunity to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation children's charity.

Jez Allinson, from Benson, donned a stormtrooper costume to run 40 miles to Pinewood Studio - where some of the movies were filmed.

Mr Allinson already holds a Guinness world record for the 'fastest marathon dressed as a Star Wars character'. He told Guinness bosses he used the London Marathon as a ‘warm up’ for today's charity run.

He has already beaten his £10,000 fundraising target, with the figure now at more than £11,700.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rogueone

REPORT: Cyclists raise thousands with 50 mile 'Sussex Biosphere' run

Almost 150 cyclists set off on an epic 50 mile ride around Sussex this morning to raise money for 27 charities chosen by Brighton's Mayor.

It's the first event of its kind as Andy Dickenson explains. He speaks to the Mayor, Cllr Pete West, as well as organiser Brenda Pollack.

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Berkshire charity's plea for help to move to bigger site

A charity in Newbury which created a soft play area for children with disabilities says it desperately needs a bigger, purpose built area.

Swings and Smiles is used by more than 300 local families. It was designed to be less daunting for children with special needs.

But it has outgrown its old home and the charity needs thousands to relocate to a new site.

Mel Bloor reports.

Fundraisers sleep outdoors on 'Byte Night' to raise £150k for fight against youth homelessness

Volunteer fundraisers during 'Byte Night' in Reading last year Credit: Byte Night video

More than a hundred and fifty people will sleep outdoors in Reading tonight to raise money to tackle youth homelessness.

Many of those at the tenth annual 'Byte Night' at Forbury Gardens are from local IT firms. They're hoping to hit a target of raising £150,000 in sponsorship money. Since the first event in Reading in 2007 they have raised one million pounds for the charity Action for Children. The cash will pay for counselling and support for young people at organisations including Here4Me in Newbury.

There are ten other locations across the country holding similar 'sleep out' fundraising events.

Sally Hanson the Chair of the Action for Children 'Byte Night' board said it was a very worthy cause.

Farnborough Runway run raises £6,000 for charity

Runners start at Farnborough Airport

Almost 400 people have taken part in an unusual charity event at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire.

The runway was closed for the town's fifth annual Twilight Runway Challenge. It was organised by TAG Farnborough Airport and The Sixth Form College Farnborough. The £6,000 will go to the CMPP Youth Aspiration Fund (YAF) which provides young people in the area with mentoring and support to help them reach their full potential.

“It’s fabulous to welcome so many people along to the airport on a Saturday evening to support this event. It’s quite a unique opportunity to run, cycle, skate down the runway and taxiways of an airport and participants love having the option of a 3, 5 or 10k distance to suit their ability, which makes it more fun. There’s always such a great atmosphere from when people start arriving for registration, participating in the warm-up, then moving people to the start line for the actual race.”

– Elaine Turner, Marketing and Events Manager, TAG Farnborough Airport
Warming up and cooling down for the Twilight Runway Challenge

“What an amazing evening! The weather was kind to us, every challenger had a smile on their face - even when they had finished - and we raised lots of lovely money for the Youth Aspiration Fund. A huge thank you to everyone who supported and participated in the event.

"It just goes to show what wonderful things can be achieved when organisations work together to support their community.”

– Christine Eustace, Director of Community Engagement, The Sixth Form College Farnborough

Dad becomes superhero to help son, 8, tackle condition

Cycle challenge through a Hampshire park

Dozens of boys from our region who have a muscle-wasting medical condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy are continuing to campaign for access to a drug which could help to keep them out of a wheelchair.

NICE, the national body which chooses what medication will be available on the NHS, made an agreement to fund the drug Translarna on the NHS back in April, following 18 months of campaigning by boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and their families. However the drug is not yet available.

One Hampshire father, James Curtis - whose 8-year-old son Jagger has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, is cycling to Paris this week to raise money for an electric wheelchair to make his son's life easier. Kerry Swain has our report.

Jagger and other boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy visit Downing Street

To find out more about the Peckham to Paris fundraising bike challenge click here.

Muscular Dystrophy UK has said that research into the condition has reached a critical stage. By 2018 the charity Duchenne Research Breakthrough Fund says it will have invested more than £4 million into studying the condition thanks to individual donations, family fundraising activities, trusts and corporate support.

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