We are very grateful to all the 157 runners who completed 5km, 10km or 15km at Run4refugees event in March 2017 in Cannon Hill Park.
Their efforts raised £5734.68 which will be split between Restore and a project working with refugees in Yalova, Turkey. This is a fantastic amount of money and we are extremely grateful to the runners and organisers for supporting Restore in this way. Money raised by Run4Refugees for Restore will help to fund men’s and women’s group activities including entry fees or activity costs, refreshments and bus fares to enable asylum seekers to attend. This enables refugees to meet and enjoy activities, to combat isolation and build community and to take steps towards integration as they meet volunteers, practise their conversational and learn about Birmingham and the West Midlands.
The trip to Haden Hill House Museum and Park helps refugees understand how society has changed in the UK by touring the parts of the Victorian house used by the original owner and those used by his servants. His garden of 50+ acres is now a public park of gardens, woodland and play area. It was great to play football and use the ‘outdoor gym’ but also to identify ducks, coots and moorhens on the lake and learn that both stinging nettles and not yet ripe blackberries should be avoided!
We have since had both a men’s trip and women’s trip on a canal boat cruising from the city centre out to Selly Oak. These trips provide a greater understanding of Birmingham’s industrial past. Despite Birmingham having more canals than Venice, one refugee had never seen the canals before. Several of the refugees had a lesson at steering the canal boat – more challenging and physically tiring than they had expected. These trips are also a wonderful opportunity to relax as we travelled at 3 mph along the water surrounded by trees – a welcome break from an inner-city environment. Trips like this provide a gateway to hidden treasures: whilst refugees could not afford another canal boat experience they could return to access the towpaths for walking or cycling.