Date set for Worthing Strep B Stomp fundraiser

Scores of people turned out for the 2017 event, and organisers of the Step B Stomp are hoping for more of the same in Worthing on July 1
Scores of people turned out for the 2017 event, and organisers of the Step B Stomp are hoping for more of the same in Worthing on July 1

A charity has announced details of a summer fundraiser, following the success of the 2017 event.

This year’s Strep B Stomp will be held in Victoria Park, Worthing, on Sunday, July 1.

Haywards Heath-based Charity Group B Strep Support is putting on the fun run with local supporter Tania Holmes, whose son, Blake, died from a group B strep infection aged 25 hours in 2009.

The aim of the event is to raise funds for the charity and awareness of how to prevent most group B strep infection in newborns.

Group B Strep – also known as GBS or Strep B – is a common bacterium unknowingly carried by around a quarter of adults, the charity said.

It added carrying GBS is symptomless and usually causes no harm to a healthy adult, but that it is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies, causing sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis, and of meningitis in children under five.

The charity said a swab test taken in late pregnancy can find out if the mother is carrying GBS and, if she is, she would be offered antibiotics from the start of labour, which is highly effective at preventing GBS infection in newborn babies.

Tania has been heavily involved in raising awareness of group B Strep since she lost her son, Blake.

Tania said: “The idea behind the Strep B Stomp is to help raise awareness and to get people talking about group B Strep infections.

“Group B Strep is not routinely screened for during pregnancy and is something I had absolutely no idea about until I had Blake.”

And for 2018, Tania is showing even more dedication to the cause, having organised the Strep B Stomp to take place three days after her wedding and the day before she goes on honeymoon.

Jane Plumb MBE, chief executive at Group B Strep Support says: “We are so grateful for Tania’s support, and for her energy and determination.

“We rely on fundraising, so events like this will help us continue raising awareness and providing vital support for families affected by group B Strep.” The Strep B Stomp – either 3km or 5km – is about having fun whilst raising money for Group B Strep Support.

It is suitable for all and there will be family fun activities, too. Tickets are £12 for adults and £6 for children or over 65s, with under-fives going free. Tickets are available from www.gbss.org.uk/worthingstomp

The 2018 event is being sponsored by Stagecoach and its Coastliner bus route, and is supported by other businesses including King & Chasemore and Extech.

Stagecoach marketing manager Stacey Churton said: “Stagecoach are thrilled to be sponsoring Group B Strep Support in raising awareness of group B Strep with their family fun run, the Strep B Stomp.

“It’s a very worthy charity, and with the event taking place in the heart of Worthing we thought it was a great opportunity as this is a community we serve with our local network of buses.”

For more information on Group B Strep Support and its work, log on to the website www.gbss.org.uk or call 01444 416176.