STOCKBRIDGE is gearing up for the town’s annual charity cross-country fund-raiser.

Organiser, Jeremy Crossman, said he hoped the event on Sunday, January 13, would raise more cash than ever before for two charities close to his heart.

Jeremy’s late father, Mike, started the George Skeates fun run in 1986 in aid of the motorsport enthusiast who was seriously injured in an accident in 1985 while a passenger in a motorcycle sidecar.

Jeremy, who lives in Romsey, said: “George worked in the building trade and he had very little money to live on. Dad tried to put him back on the right track. Over the years, the events have raised tens of thousands of pounds for the Inspire Foundation at Salisbury District Hospital, where George was treated, at the Odstock Spinal unit after his accident. He was in hospital for months afterwards.”

Some of the cash raised goes to Wessex Heartbeat, based at Southampton General, where Jeremy’s father was treated.

The event is open to walkers and cyclists, as well as runners. Participants will have the choice of two courses – three miles and mostly on-road, or an eight-mile, mainly cross-country route.

“I am expecting around 200 people on the day,” said Jeremy.

The entry fee is £10 on the day, or £9 for those registering in advance. The event starts at 10am from Stockbridge Town Hall. To register in advance or for further information, contact Jeremy by email, at jebcrossman@google, or ring 01794 500600.