Sunday, 18 April 2021

Famous faces show their support for first-ever virtual RBC Race for the Kids

HARRY Potter star, Jason Isaacs, Downton Abbey actor, Matt Barber, Great British Bake Off favourite, Candice Brown and actor, Michelle Collins will be pounding the pavements to take part in this year’s first-ever virtual RBC Race for the Kids, to raise vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity).

The celebrities have been inspired to take part after their own experience of being treated at GOSH or after hearing the stories of other children who have been treated there. They are urging people to sign up and take on their own race over a weekend of celebration on 17 and 18 October, whilst raising much-needed funds for the seriously ill children from across the UK who are treated at the hospital every day.

Actor, Matt Barber, who is best known for his role in ITV’s period drama, Downton Abbey, is going to be taking on his own race to thank the staff at GOSH who saved his life as a baby. Matt spent the first month of his life at GOSH after having life-saving surgery to remove one of his kidneys which had been affected by a rare non-cancerous tumour, mesoblastic nephroma.

Matt said:

“If it wasn’t for the incredible doctors at GOSH, I wouldn’t be here; they saved my life. I want to do everything I can to support them and am thrilled to be taking part in the first-ever virtual version of RBC Race for the Kids. This is my way of giving back and I hope lots of people get involved and do their bit to support GOSH Charity as well!”

Jason Isaacs, most famed for playing Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, will be dedicating his race to eight-year-old, Harry from Surrey, who was treated at GOSH for a rare heart condition, Critical Pulmonary Stenosis – Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome. Jason met Harry and his family at last year’s RBC Race for the Kids event in Hyde Park and was inspired by his story.

Matt Barber – RBC Race for the Kids goes virtual 2020

Harry was rushed into intensive care at GOSH shortly after he was born, where he was diagnosed with Critical Pulmonary Stenosis – Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome. After arriving at GOSH, Harry had open-heart surgery, where doctors inserted a stent to keep his heart functioning. He had three operations at GOSH to help his heart condition and is now doing really well. Harry and his family have taken part in RBC Race for the Kids for the past couple of years and will be running their own race over the weekend of 17 and 18 October.

British television personality and GOSH Charity ambassador, Candice Brown, who won the seventh series of the Great British Bake Off will also be taking on her own race to raise money to support seriously ill children from across the UK.


Candice said:

“I am really excited to be taking part in the first-ever virtual RBC Race for the Kids and can’t wait to dust off my running shoes, get out around my neighbourhood and raise vital funds for GOSH Charity. I have been lucky enough to visit the hospital and meet some of the children it cares for, so I know just how much of an impact the money raised will have.”

Over 10,000 people took part in last year’s fundraising event to run, jog, walk and scoot around the 5km iconic course in London’s Hyde Park. The hospital needs more support than ever and so this year, the charity is urging even more people to sign up for the first-ever virtual RBC Race for the Kids. Created by Royal Bank of Canada, the virtual event is open to supporters of all ages and abilities, with participants encouraged to choose somewhere in their local neighbourhood, park or even a garden and ‘race’ your distance, your way.


Louise Parkes, Chief Executive of GOSH Charity, said:

“We’re delighted that GOSH Charity is part of Royal Bank of Canada’s first-ever virtual global Race for the Kids series and that they are making the event still possible even though we can’t all be together in Hyde Park this year. At a time when the hospital needs our support more than ever, we  are calling upon our incredible supporters to run, jog, walk or scoot around their local communities in support of all the children being treated at GOSH.”

Dave Thomas, CEO, RBC Capital Markets, Europe, added:

“Each year, thousands of RBC employees, friends and families join with members of the public to stage fun runs around the world to raise vital funds for youth charities. While we cannot come together in person this year, Royal Bank of Canada is delighted that we have been able to partner with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity to be a part of the world’s largest virtual family fun run. We are thrilled that we are able to continue supporting young people and hope that families and friends of the hospital will join us for this fun event.”

Participants can now sign up for free at, select their city and associated charity and choose their preferred race distance to complete during the weekend of the 17 and 18 October. The virtual race will be integrated into most running apps and all participants will receive digital medals and rewards.


Over the last 10 years, RBC Race for the Kids has raised over £6 million for GOSH Charity, helping to make a difference to the lives of seriously ill children from across the UK.

For more information and to sign up to take part, please visit:

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