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20 April 2016

The sun shone and the bubbles flowed for 2,700 fun-lovers taking part in the first ever Herts Bubble Rush in aid of The Hospice of St Francis on Sunday.

(Check out the photos of Sunday’s Bubble Rush on the Hospice’s Facebook Page here:here and DeeTV’s video here )

Clad in multi-coloured tutus, neon sunglasses and a smattering of eye-catching costumes, participants flocked from far and wide to Gadebridge Park, Hemel Hempstead, for the sell-out event, which has so far raised £115k and rising for the Berkhamsted charity.

Participants of all ages and abilities, from individuals and families with small and large children, to teams, friends and keen runners, ran, walked or danced their way through bubble stations as they were blasted by cannons blowing out crazy coloured bubbles, covering them in safe, frothy foam.

A giant street slide greeted them at the finale and there was entertainment and stalls selling refreshments in the Bubble Village.

Dubbed “the frothiest child-friendly 5k in Herts,” the brand new Herts Bubble Rush proved so popular that the Hospice fundraising team has already opened a priority list for next year’s event on 30th April 2017.

“It’s amazing that we have staged the first ever Herts Bubble Rush, which was fabulous frothy fun, and it’s now our exclusive event, bringing a whole new community to Gadebridge Park and a whole new group of supporters to The Hospice of St Francis,” said Fran Martin, Events Manager at the Hospice.

“Our brilliant Bubblers have raised a phenomenal amount, which could pay for a bed for a whole year in our Inpatient Unit and I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part, to our loyal and committed marshals and volunteers, to our sponsors, Hillier Hopkins LLP, and everyone who contributed in any way.

 “The event was sold out within five weeks of us launching it and we know it will sell out again so we urge anyone keen to take part in next year’s event to join our priority list – either by joining the Facebook event page here: or by emailing”

Joel Rowbotham, 29, from Sacombe Road, Hemel Hempstead, took part with nine burly mates all dressed as Superwoman, in memory of his fiancée, Hayley Makepeace, 29, who spent 12 days at the Hospice before losing her battle with cancer last December. A dozen different teams, comprising more than 70 people between them, took part in Hayley’s memory.

“Hayley was a really bubbly and vibrant person, so it just made sense to do the Bubble Rush in her name to say thank you to the Hospice for the outstanding care they gave us all,” said mobile tyre fitter, Joel.

“It’s exactly the kind of event that Hayley would have loved and with lots of kids in our respective families, it was something they could all get involved in too.

“The whole event was amazing - really great fun! Even though one of the team tore his calf playing football two weeks ago, he went round on crutches and we carried him some of the way – nothing was going to stop us!”

Melanie and Simon Belson, from The Copse, Hemel Hempstead, took part with their three children Leah, 13, Ashleigh, 12, and Aron 10, because it was something the whole family could do. “5k is easy – it’s a great way to have fun with the kids and to raise money for charity,” said control systems engineer, Simon, 44.

The five-strong Boxmoor Bubbly Babes took part, in the words of team member Caroline Frampton, 49, “because we love fun, we love bubbles and we wanted to raise money for a good cause.” So far they have raised £1,180 for the Hospice and afterwards, very aptly, they retired to pop open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate!




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