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Harry's Duck Race returns this summer to raise money for Hope House

June 24th 2022, 11:37 am by Allan Longshadow

The annual Harry's Duck Race held in memory of Wrexham boy Harry Jones will return this summer to raise funds for Hope House Children's Hospices. 

Harry was just four-years-old when he tragically died in his sleep in 2004 due to an undetected and undiagnosed heart condition, cardiac arrhythmia.  His family says the duck race, which will be held on Sunday, September 4 at Pontblyddan Cricket Club, helps keep the memory of Harry alive. 

"Hope House has been there for us since Harry died,"

said mum Julia, who organises the event. 

"The duck race has been going for more than 10 years, although has been a little different the last two years with Covid. Every year we raise money for Hope House so that other families can get the care and support that we were fortunate to receive. 

"But not only that, it keeps Harry's memory alive." 

After Harry died, Julia and Harry's dad Jeff couldn't stand the thought of Harry lying in a hospital mortuary and were grateful for the use of the hospice's Snowflake Suite, where they could say goodbye in a comfortable, loving environment. Harry's brothers Sam and Charlie were also supported for many years through counselling and through the specialist work the hospices does with brothers and sisters.  

"The help and support we received was so important,"

said Charlie.

"I remember doing expression of emotion through paintings as I was quite young at the time. Looking back that was so important." 

Sam said:

"They have been there for us when we need them. Grief is one of those things where you can be going along and suddenly something happens and you feel like you're back to square one again. That's why it's been good to be able to have Hope House there, and that's why we want to keep raising money through things like the duck race, so others can get the support we have." 

Nicky Eyes, fundraiser, said:

"Over the years the support from Julia, Jeff and the boys has been invaluable. Every week, three local families face their biggest fear and their child dies.  
"We need to raise £7.5m a year to support all the children and families we help. That's why it's so important that we are supported by events such as Harry's Duck Race." 

As well as the duck races there will be a variety of stalls, face painting, a BBQ and Phil & Jane's Ice Cream Van. There will be prizes for heat winners and for the overall winner of the races.  

You can get small ducks for £1 each at www.justgiving.com/harryjohnjones and large ducks for £20 each, which can also be entered into the now-famous fancy dress competition, from www.hopehouse.org.uk/duck  The family also have some spaces left for stalls, so if you would like to support the event and have a stall then please contact Julia directly on [email protected]