Burnley runner will race in koala bear outfit to raise money for Australian bush fire cause

Karen Holland
Karen Holland

A hospital matron will take to the streets in a koala bear outfit to compete in the Blackburn Winter Warmer 10k and raise money for the Australian bush fires.

Runner Karen Holland (49), who lives in Worsthorne, is head of Clinical Services at Fulwood Hall Hospital, Preston which is part of Ramsay Healthcare, where she has been for seven years.

“Ramsay Healthcare is an Australian based company and a number of our hospitals are very close to the bushfires with many of our Australian co-workers having been affected.

“Ramsay Healthcare in Australia have been actively involved in supporting the firefighting teams out there, even providing sleeping accommodation within their hospitals to those who have been displaced,” said Karen.

“The Ramsay hospitals in the UK including Fulwood Hall are trying to do what we can to support this.

“I am very proud of the organisation I work for and want to contribute to this cause if I can.

“Ramsay Healthcare have said they will match the amount raised from any fundraising from their employees so it seemed a perfect fit.

“I run because I love being out in the fresh air and the countryside, enjoying the scenery and the wildlife, and in Australia so much of this has been destroyed which is truly devastating.

“It has been heart-breaking to see the images from Australia and to hear the experiences of those that are currently living through it.

“I started running just before my 40th birthday as I wanted to be fit and 40 and I am the run director at Burnley Parkrun. I can be found at Towneley Park most Saturday mornings before 9am.

“I will never be a fast runner but I am capable of running 10k so wanted to make it a challenge for me and a bit of fun for those watching or supporting me.

“Therefore I will be wearing a koala bear outfit as this will give a powerful visual message of why I am doing this.”

The race is on Sunday, February 2nd. and Karen has set up a justgiving page at www.ramsayhealth.co.uk/BushFireAppeal