Burglars Roam Southampton in Packs
On Sunday 16th July 2006, 10,000 people participated in the tenth Anniversary of the Race for Life on Southampton Common. Ten women – four from Christie Intruder Alarms and six from sister companySouthern Monitoring Services – joined the thousands that made the day worth while.
Many people were in fancy dress, and our staff were all dressed asburglars, complete with black and white stripy tops, black trousers and black masks!
Altogether, the girls raised around £1,800, including money from otheralarm companies who sponsored us online which was a great help in getting the figures up! The money is still coming in so this is not an exact figure. We are grateful for everyone’s support. All donations go to Cancer Research UK.
The Christie Intruder Alarm Story
Four of us, Stacey Gray, Emily Marshman, Sherry Harris and a lady who would prefer to remain anonymous, arrived at Southampton Common at around 9:30am and made our way to the main meeting area for the mass warm-up, and to hear other participants’ personal stories.
One in particular was very moving. Olivia was just 5 weeks old when she was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Now 21 months old, Olivia has spent most of her life in hospital. She had a bone marrow transplant in December which was successful but there have been some complications. The most touching part was that Olivia was able to leave the hospital for a couple of hours to watch her mum and older sister take part in the race.
On your marks…Get set…
As we made our way to the walkers’ start point where thousands of people were waiting for the race to begin, we realised there was going to be a bit of a wait so we snuck over to the runners’ start point because they were going off first.
We realised then that we would have to run, which we did for the first kilometre. However it was far too hot (and the youngsters were carrying an OAP!!) so the race was continued in walk mode.
At the 3 kilometre point, a pub appeared on the left which lured us in for a refreshing drink. The look on some people’s faces was quite amusing as we rejoined the race!
It was an emotional 5 kilometres, reading the stories some people had pinned to their backs, and the support from the watching crowd was amazing, particularly over the last 2 kilometres. With the finishing line is sight, we all felt overwhelmed by what we had achieved.
This was the second race for Stacey who took part in the PortsmouthRace for Life in June with Laura Andrews; they both ran and completed their race in 28 minutes.
The Southern Monitoring Girls Story
Tanya Harris, Sarah Parham, Trish McGinty, Kelly Stewart, Lesa Calder and Kelly Day – arrived at around 10am, in time to relax before the 11 o’clock start. As so many were walking, we didn’t actually reach the start line until around 11.20, and it took us about 50 minutes to complete the walk.
There were so many people there with so many stories to tell, from people who had been diagnosed with cancer and are being treated, to people that have been given the all clear. Many people were running with a friend, family member, work colleague or neighbour in mind.
We did our walk in memory of Chris Walsh who passed away on Tuesday 4th July 2006.
We first met Chris in 1992 when she joined Southern Monitoring when the company was still quite small and working out of the CIA building.
Chris was a very warm, friendly person and fitted in immediately. Chris was always willing to help, swapping shifts to help operators who needed time off and working overtime at short notice.
As the company expanded and we moved into our purpose built ARC, the workforce obviously grew. Chris gained even more friends, several of whom she saw get married and have children – she was their surrogate Auntie and babysat whenever possible. At her memorial service there were so many faces we had not seen for years. As you can imagine, it was a moving service.
Chris had battled cancer for many years but she never let it get her down, she was always so cheerful. Chris will be sadly missed by everyone, she touched so many people’s lives with her warm heart and sunny smile – farewell Chris.
Also, we had in mind Lesa Calder, our Admin Manager, who took part in the race with us. Lesa was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago and has now been given the all clear.
We all found it a very inspiring experience and most of us are planning to do it again next year.