Take part in Sunderland 10k or half marathon and help Jermain Defoe's charity

Runners can sign up for this year's Sunderland 10k and half marathon races and help former Sunderland star Jermain Defoe's charity in the process.

Friday, 16th February 2018, 5:00 am
The Jermain Defoe Foundation was officially launched in 2013 in St Lucia. The photo shows from left Anthonia David from Holy Family Children's Home, Jermain's mum Sandra, Jermain and then Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony.

Defoe’s foundation, which is affiliated with the events, now have places available for either run which both take place on Sunday, May 13.

The foundation was founded in 2013 by the England footballer and his family to support homeless, vulnerable and abused children and young people in his family’s home country of St Lucia.

Recently, the charity has expanded its cause to support children in all Caribbean Islands, as well as the UK.

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This was following Hurricane Maria in September 2017, which caused devastation across Dominica.

The foundation is currently raising money in aid of Dominica Hurricane Relief to help the children and families whose lives were devastated by the impact of Hurricane Maria.

The organisation works closely with the government in St Lucia and Dominica and existing organisations on these Caribbean Islands that support and care for young people.

This includes the Holy Family Children’s Home in St Lucia, which provides temporary placement for children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected.

The foundation has also built and is finalising the Rainbow Children’s Home, which will be the second children’s home on the island.

Following the close relationship that Jermain formed with neuroblastoma battler Bradley Lowery, the foundation is expanding its cause in the UK to help those children with life-threatening illnesses, working alongside with the Bradley Lowery Foundation.

It aims to raise funds for other children affected from neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer, to receive treatment and recover.

Jermain, who now plays for Bournemouth, said: “From a young age whilst I’ve visited St Lucia, I’ve witnessed the poor conditions in which some of these children live, so it’s something that is close to my heart.

“The recent hurricane in Dominica caused a lot of devastations which is why I’ve decided to raise funds to help rebuild the country and support the children and families on the island.

“My friendship with Bradley showed me how lucky I am and I realised that if someone that young can go through something so traumatic and still remain positive, I can do anything.

“Bradley taught me a lot and his friendship encouraged me to help other children that are suffering from the same illness, helping them to receive treatment and recover.

“We really appreciate all of the external support we receive in making our vision and objectives a reality, and helping us to make a positive impact on a child’s life.

“I look back fondly on my time playing for Sunderland and I really value everything the fans there have done for me.”

Those signing with the foundation will be given a free place for one of the races and will also be given a Jermain Defoe Foundation t-shirt and wristband.

Participants will need to agree to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship.

Those interested should email [email protected] for more information.