Oliver's army takes on run to raise cash

DEDICATED mum Rachel Taplin is gearing up to take on 10 miles along with her '˜army' to raise cash for her disabled son.

Tuesday, 18th October 2016, 5:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:03 pm
Rachel Taplin from Warsash with her children Oliver and Jasmine

A group of 13 runners is tackling the Great South Run in Southsea on Sunday in aid of Oliver’s Army.

The group was set up to raise money for Oliver, Rachel’s 10-year-old son who has complex disabilities, including cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and uses a wheelchair.

Rachel said: ‘I have done the run a few times but never for Oliver’s cause. We are always looking for different avenues to go down with the fundraising and I couldn’t ask people to do the race unless I was actually doing it myself.

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‘It’s been quite hard putting the training in, especially with Oliver’s care, but running is good for the soul.’

All the money raised will go towards a project to create a sensory garden at the family’s home in Warsash.

The campaign was launched 18 months ago and scores of people have pitched in to make their garden accessible for Oliver, so he can enjoy it with his four-year-old sister.

The family are now hoping to install further features in the garden, such as lighting and a mural, plus they are fundraising for other therapy and equipment that Oliver needs.

Oliver, who goes to Cedar School, is due to undergo a major operation in November to stop his hips from dislocating, which means he will have both his legs broken and metal plates put in. It is expected that it will take him six months to recover.

Rachel, 34, said: ‘The cause is all about improving the quality of Oliver’s life.’

Rachel said she was grateful to all of the runners taking part, including her best friend Lucy Reid, and for the money they have helped raise.

She hopes to complete the race in under 1hr 34mins – her time from her last Great South Run four years ago.

To make a donation go to gofundme.com/otarmygsrrachel