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Sheppey prisoners prepare to go on the run to help poorly Minster youngster Oliver Smith

Oliver Smith, four, with his new hearing aid
Oliver Smith, four, with his new hearing aid

Five prisoners are preparing to run a half-marathon in aid of the Oliver Smith appeal.

Kevin Burgess and some of his fellow inmates from HMP Standford Hill, Eastchurch, are in training for the Eastbourne half-marathon, which will take place on Sunday, March 3.

Mr Burgess, 53, who is from Leysdown and was jailed for his part in a 2010 £1.1m cigarette raid, wanted to do the run for a local good cause.

Four-year-old Oliver, of Coral Road, Minster, has the childhood cancer neuroblastoma and his family is trying to raise £150,000 for treatment he could need in Germany if his condition gets worse.

The other inmates are Toren Aylesbury, Colin Edgar, Mehmet Deniz and Richard Shepherd.
PE officer at the open jail, Mark Fitzpatrick has helped the prisoners organise the run.

Mr Burgess said: “I wanted the money we raise to go directly to somebody who needs it.

“It’s my way of putting something back into the community.”

If you would like to sponsor the team, there are forms in the Castle pub in Eastchurch, the Warden Bay Hotel, Talk of the Town fun pub and Merlin’s Entertainment Complex, Leysdown and the Goat pub, Sheerness.

Meanwhile, the fund has had a boost of £117.

Oliver Smith Appeal logo
Oliver Smith Appeal logo

The money has come from a £16 donation from the Express Cafe in Queenborough; £29 from the Gulf Garage in Sheerness; £63 from the Albion pub in Blue Town; and £9 from the Red Lion in Blue Town.

Islanders have now raised £92,418 towards the appeal.

Last week Oliver and his mum Natalie were at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London, for the youngster to have scans to check if there has been any change with the neuroblastoma.

Natalie said Oliver had been very brave and the tests went well, but they won’t get the results until later this week.

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