KIND-hearted Dorset residents are celebrating after raising nearly £20,000 for Poole Hospital Charity by running a marathon for the good cause.

Sixteen people from across the county came together at Poole Hospital to hand over £19,038.51 they had made from taking part in the London Marathon and the first ever Bournemouth Marathon Festival, held in October last year.

The group also included those who have already signed up and pledged their support to the good cause in 2014, by getting sponsored by friends, family, and colleagues to run the 26 miles of the organised events.

Chris Brown, the outgoing chief executive of Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our fundraisers really do go to great lengths to support Poole Hospital Charity and to help us to provide an even better experience for our patients. These supporters have raised a phenomenal amount of money through their considerable efforts and I am delighted that we have been able to recognise what they have achieved.”

Poole Hospital Charity supports all wards and departments across the hospital and has funded equipment ranging from babies’ cots to major refurbishments since it was launched in 2004.

In 2013, over 9,500 people took part in the first Bournemouth Marathon Festival, held on October 5 and 6, which featured two junior events, with the Speed of Light 5k and the Supersonic 10k, in the Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens.

This was in addition to the half-marathon and 26.2mile marathon events.

They took runners on courses which travelled through parts of Bournemouth and Poole from King’s Park Avenue.