Jackie and Mark Smith started the December Daily Dash in 2015 after Jackie lost her Dad to cancer, 18 months after losing her Mum to the same illness. Inspired by the care he received from Sue Ryder’s Leckhampton hospice, they decided to set themselves a challenge to run 5K every day in December.
They were joined by 11 friends in that first year (and Chester the dog!), and the December Daily Dash was born, growing over the following years to raise more than £100,000 for Sue Ryder's palliative, neurological and bereavement support. Since that first year, over 1000 people have joined them to take part in the dash - in the UK and internationally. Central to this is the fact that the dash is all about choice and accessibility – people take part in the dash wherever, whenever and however they want, and at a pace that suits them.
All the way through, they are supported and inspired by an active virtual community, posting pictures and inventing new ways to motivate themselves through 31 days of activity at one of the busiest times of the year.
This year they are hopeful that more people than ever before will join them to take on this challenge. Daily Dashers tell Jackie and Mark that they keep coming back for all kinds of reasons – a connection to Sue Ryder, improving their own well being, being part of a vibrant online community, or just staying healthy over the festive period – and over 90% would dash again and recommend to others.
Fundraising is optional, but if you do fundraise, they ask that you do so for Sue Ryder as an organisation that is close to their hearts. With this new web hub it is super easy to kick off your fundraising and get great tips on training and fundraising to start you on your dashing journey.
They hope to see you all out dashing in 2020!
PS. Chester is still dashing.