BARNSLEY businesses downed tools and took part in a running challenge to raise money for two children’s hospices.

More than 60 participants, representing 32 businesses and organisations, took to the treadmills to relay for an entire working day with two treadmills constantly on the move from 8am until 5pm.

The initiative - named Totally Runnable’s Ultra Challenge Run Day - was set up to raise money for Forget Me Not and Bluebell Wood.

Both of the charities offer help and support to families and people who are suffering from life limiting illnesses.

So far the challenge has already raised more than £850 - and some sponsorship money is yet to be collected.

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The Business Village’s Kevin Steel was one of the first to people on the treadmill on the day, and he said: “For us it’s not only a great way to raise funds for two brilliant charities, but it is a nice way for businesses who are tenants of The Business Village to both add to their corporate social responsibility work, and do something fun with other tenants.

“It’s a win-win and I’m so pleased Totally Runnable asked us to be a part of it.

“It’s been so well supported by all the organisations who have been represented - we even had a visit from the Mayor.”

The challenge took place during the National Children’s Hospice Week and also marks the start of a new partnership between Barnsley-based school training company, Totally Runnable and the two children’s hospices.

Bryony Cooney, who organised the event and is heading up the new partnership, is aiming to raise £1,000 over the year with money being generated through donations from sales of the company’s bottles and hoodies and director Natalie Jackson is taking part in the Great North Run in September.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to raise the profile of both Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice and Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, as well as the great work that they both do for children with life limiting conditions,” said Natalie.

“We were hoping that between us we’d run more than a marathon, which would be the distance of an ‘Ultra Marathon’ but across the day we’ve managed more than three marathons so we’re really pleased.

“We’ve run the distance from Barnsley to Liverpool.”