Our annual Harry’s Duck Race  will once again be topping the bill in 2020 as it marks its 10th anniversary.

The first duck race event was held back in 2010 in memory of a four-year-old Wrexham boy, Harry Jones, who tragically died in his sleep in 2004 due to an undetected and undiagnosed heart condition, cardiac arrhythmia.

Harry Jones

Julia Jones, Harry’s mum, has been organising fundraising events with us every year every year since Harry’s tragic and unexpected death. Firstly, she set up an annual Teddy Bear Walk in memory of her son, which then became a duck race in 2010 and has been held every year every year since raising some £20,000 over the last decade.

A devastating loss

“No one expects to lose a child. Harry just went to sleep one day and never woke up; as a family we are left devastated. He was a four-year-old boy who was full of energy and life,” said Julia.

“Harry was a real character, full of mischief and much older in his ways than his four years. In fact, that’s perhaps what I miss the most - his fun loving personality. He was always up to something.”

Julia and Harry’s dad Jeff couldn’t stand the thought of Harry lying in a hospital mortuary and were grateful for the use of the Snowflake Suite.

“Thanks to the Snowflake Suite, a room specially designed so parents can be with their deceased children before the funeral, we were able to sit with Harry and say our goodbyes in a warm loving environment, it meant a great deal,” said Julia.

Virtual races in mystery locations

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, for its tenth year, on September 27 there will be four virtual duck races held in mystery locations in Flintshire, Oswestry, Anglesey and Nantwich. While Julia, Jeff and Harry’s brothers Charlie and Sam, will themselves be hosting a virtual Hot Tub Duck Extravaganza at their home in Wrexham.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us over the last 10 years and had made the duck race what it is,” said Julia.

“It’s amazing how much it has grown over the years, it doesn’t feel that long ago that we started the duck race following the teddy bear walks we held before. Of course, this 10th event will be slightly different due to Covid-19, but Hope House need our support more than ever, so please support us and take part if you can.”

Our head of fundraising Alison Marsh says the amount of money raised by Julia and Jeff over the last decade has been remarkable and that everyone at the hospice is grateful for their continued support.

“Over the last 10 years the support from Julia, Jeff and the boys has been invaluable,” she said. “Every week, three local families face their biggest fear and their child dies. Hope House Children’s Hospices cannot stop children dying but we can stop families suffering on their own.

“We need to raise in excess of £6m a year to support all the children and families we help from across North Wales, Shropshire and parts of Cheshire. That’s why it’s so important that we are supported by event such as Harry’s Duck Race, even during these difficult times.”

How to get involved

The ducks can be bought for £1 each and you can buy as many as you like.  For the Hot Tub Extravaganza the ducks can be purchased here. Please name you ducks in the message tab on Just Giving page.

For the other races please click here. The cut-off date for buying the small ducks is September 20 and small ducks can be will be entered into a heat at your chosen location on the day of the duck race.

It wouldn’t be the duck race without the popular Dress Your Duck competition, and for a donation of £20 entrants will receive their very own big duck in need of a lockdown makeover. Dress and decorate the duck and be in with a chance to win a prize in categories such as overall best-dressed duck, best celebrity duck, best politician duck, best sporting duck and best effort.

To enter order your big duck from the Hope House website then simply take a photo of your duck, dressed and ready to be judged by the Mayor of Wrexham and email to [email protected] by Friday, September 11.