Family and friends run in memory of Dan

September 30 2016

ONE of Cecilia Browne's most treasured photos is of herself and her son Dan Hickey at the start of the Bristol Half Marathon in 2011.

ONE of Cecilia Browne's most treasured photos is of herself and her son Dan Hickey at the start of the Bristol Half Marathon in 2011.

This year, following Dan's death in a hit and run crash in 2015 when he was 25, Cecilia took part in the run again, wearing a T-shirt bearing that photo.

She was accompanied by her husband John, son Joe, 28, daughter Lizzie, 22, colleagues from Henbury School and dozens of friends of the family.

They were all running to raise money for The Dan Hickey Fund, set up in his memory to support sport or drama initiatives in Bristol that benefit young people.

The fund has already raised more than £30,000, with a large part of that sum coming from a charity rugby match between Dan's club, Bristol Saracens, and a team from his university, Leicester.

Nearly 70 people took part in the Great Bristol Half on September 25 in aid of the fund. Once all sponsorship is collected in, trustees of the fund, which is managed by the Quartet Communiry Foundation, will meet to decide which local causes should benefit from the money raised . They will focus on sport and drama, as these were two great passions for Dan, who attended St Bonaventure's Catholic Primary in Bishopston and Bristol Cathedral School.

Cecilia said the support from local people meant a lot to the family, who have lived in Bishopston for more than 20 years.

“Running was something Dan and I did together,” said Cecilia. “My other son and my daughter were not runners, but they are now. They trained for the half marathon with their friends. It feels good to come together for something positive.”

Cecilia has been a recreational runner for many years and takes part regularly in the Ashton Court Park Run, while John enjoys trail running with Hash House Harriers.

She was grateful for the support of colleagues at Henbury School, where she has been a specialist literacy teacher for nine years. Five teachers ran or walked in the half marathon for the fund. Team Henbury comprised head teacher Clare Bradford, geography teacher Celia Murray, English teachers Megan Read  and Leah Fordham  and humanities teacher Kiri Pearce.

“It is incredibly touching and moving  that they have found time in their busy teaching schedules to do this long distance to raise money for the fund. It is a great way to help me and my family,”  Cecilia said