TWO sisters set themselves a challenge to run a half marathon in a week to raise money to buy presents for vulnerable children in care homes and through the foodbank this Christmas.

Sarah and Claire Caldwell fundraise for different charities every year, including a three-peak challenge last year, motivated by Sarah’s eldest daughter who has special needs and wanting to help other families in the same situation.

The pair hope to raise enough money for 100 gifts, such as art and crafts, musical instruments and gardening tools, which they will then buy, wrap and drop at the care home and foodbank.

Sarah, 32 from Latchford, said: “To think that you’re helping 100 children is a nice feeling and it’s an absolute bonus that you’re improving your own health at the same time.

“It’s nice for them to have something of their own, a present for them to keep, to make somebody’s Christmas a little bit better.”

The sisters smashed their original target of £500 in just two days, which they have now increased to £750 and have so far raised £673 of that.

Claire, 23, from Wolverhampton, said: “When Sarah asked me to take part in her fundraiser this year, I couldn’t say no after knowing the impact this will have from the fundraisers I have helped her with over previous years.

“I only started running in the first lockdown so I have also taken this as an opportunity to really challenge myself for such a good cause.

“Thinking of what this money will do to help is what has pushed me through each and every run this week.”

The financial effects of the pandemic also spurred Sarah on to fundraise this year.

She said: “Christmas is another expense and there’s going to be a lot more families this year that are going to be in a position where they’re not able to do what they want to do for their families.”

Cllr Matt Smith, cabinet member for children's services, said: “It's been a difficult year for many of us, but the acts of kindness and solidarity we continue to see from our communities is genuinely humbling.

“We are very grateful to Sarah and Claire for their support and I know their fundraising efforts and gifts will mean a great deal to our young people."

David Mcdonald, chief executive of Warrington Foodbank, said: “We at the foodbank feel that children had a rough deal this year because of the pandemic, they lost six months of schooling and we know that there was an awful lot of parents who were furloughed and may not be going back to work before Christmas.

“So it is with grateful thanks that we are delighted to work with Sarah and Claire.”

The two sisters have persevered through cold and wet weather this week, despite describing themselves as ‘far from athletic’, to run every day and complete the challenge.

Sarah said: “Please add just one extra child to your Christmas list this year and put towards a fantastic cause.”

To track their progress or donate visit