On the 30th of December, Rose Beddington succeeded in her goal of trekking the South Downs over Christmas and raising funds for the vulnerable children which Children on the Edge support.
Rose was so moved by the plight of the Syrian refugees who search for a safer life for their families, she decided to get involved.
She said, “I wanted to do something different at Christmas which would have meaning for me and for others in the wider world. Walking the South Downs Way is a constructive challenge for me.”.
As Rose began her trek, she kept a diary, recording daily entries as she went. One particular day the weather was so bad, she reported; “From Alfriston to Beachy Head. Horizontal rain followed by hurricane winds. Blown over on The Severn Sisters. No one else out - I wonder why?!’”
Another entry shows how Rose was not alone in her journey, as friends responded to her invitation to join and support her through the most challenging parts of her trek: “A wild and windy day today. Another Saint - Saint Brian Dallyn picked me up at 7.30… Fast walking to meet Michele Reverenne for lunch”.
When Rose explained why she chose to fundraise for Children on the Edge she said; “For several years I have donated to Children on the Edge which is a small charity based in Chichester. They do excellent work with children on the margins of their society, and also empower those around the children to help themselves. I like this particular charity because funds are not wasted on slick offices or bureaucracy. All donations go straight to those most needing it.”
Rose completed her Christmas trek on the 30th of December just in time to see the New Year in, and she raised a fantastic £1,250 for Children on the Edge.
Would you like to fundraise for our work by taking on a personal challenge, like a walk, run or cycle? Find out more.
On Friday 27th October, local chef, Juliet Graham organised a 'Syrian Feast' at Tuppenny Barn in Southbourne, to raise funds for our tented schools for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The event raised an incredible £2245.
Juliet, who owns Green and Graham catering in Hambrook wanted to do something to support Children on the Edge and in particular, our education programme for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. She organised the Syrian themed feast, creating her own menu of delicious food which was freshly prepared at Tuppenny Barn with help from a team of volunteers.
Juliet Graham said:
"In 2016, I visited the refugee camps in Calais. Having seen how people were living, I knew I wanted to do something to help. Soon after, I heard Nuna Matar speak in Chichester and I thought it would be fantastic to join up with Children on the Edge and do something locally to raise funds, build awareness, and have some fun at the same time!".
Nuna Matar runs the education programme we support in Lebanon, and visited Chichester in April 2016. She met with a number of local supporters to talk more about the programme, inspiring many local people to get involved in supporting this work.
The meal for 67 hungry guests included lentil, chard and freekeh soup, flat breads, falafel and moutabal, along with lamb, marinated chicken kebabs and roasted quail, with an array of side dishes - Mujadara, Fattoush salad, Muhammara and honey roasted figs with halloumi. All the dishes went down extremely well with guests, who dined with the delightful tunes of some traditional Syrian music in the background, performed by members of the Sussex Syrian Community Group.
After dinner, Director of Children on the Edge, Rachel Bentley spoke about our work in Lebanon. She explained how we have been working with Syrian refugees in Bekaa Valley for over three years, in partnership with Lebanese NGO - Mercy Foundation.
Our programme provides quality, child friendly education for 500 refugee children, aged 6-12, who are unable to access government or UN school provision. The schools are safe places with a trusted adult presence. Where other projects of this kind bring in teachers from the outside, our model raises up teachers from within the Syrian refugee community. It costs just £194 a year to educate one Syrian refugee child in one of our tent schools, so the total of £2245 raised from the banquet is enough to educate 11 children for a whole year.
"I'm delighted that the evening was such a huge success and raised vital funds for a very worthwhile cause. I'm grateful to all the volunteers that helped to make the event possible, and to Tuppenny Barn, who very kindly provided the venue for free".
Rachel Bentley, Director of Children on the Edge said:
"We'd like to say an enormous thank you to Juliet and her team for not only providing such a lovely evening of fine dining and entertainment, but raising so much for our work with Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. As a small charity, funds like this really do make a huge difference, so we are grateful to everyone who was involved for making the event such a success".
Find out more about how you can organise a fundraising event for Children on the Edge.
George Hemmati is on his way to Venice this weekend to take part in the Venice Marathon for Children on the Edge. It's his first ever marathon and he's hoping to raise £350 for us after hearing about our work with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. We chatted to George about his challenge....
What made you decide to do the Venice Marathon?
Well I've never done a marathon and I've never been to Venice so I thought two birds, one stone!
What made you want to fundraise for Children on the Edge?
I was keen to run for a charity working with refugees and then I came across the Promising Practices project. It was here that I noticed Children on the Edge had been chosen as one of the top 20 leading projects in refugee education with your work with Rohingya refugees. I was particularly inspired by your work given the scale of the atrocities being inflicted in Myanmar so it was really a no brainer.
Have you taken on anything like this before?
I've done a handful of half marathons in my time but never a whole one! (eek)
What are you most excited about?
I'm looking forward to that race day buzz. Wherever you're running, it's always great to have a crowd cheering you on and chucking you the odd jelly baby to keep you fuelled!
What are you most nervous about?
Not being able to get a reservation at a restaurant after. I'll be craving a BIG pizza!
How have you been training for the marathon?
I downloaded a training plan online and tracking my runs using an app. I'd be lying if I said that I've stuck to it religiously but I've managed to tick off most of them off. The best parts having been heading out on those Sunday mornings and running down Regents Canal. It's dreamy! The worst parts have been trying to motivate myself to run after work when it's dark and all you want to do is relax - never easy. The 22 miler in my training plan was also pretty gruelling!
Whilst we won't be in Venice to cheer George round the course on Sunday (sadly), we wish him the best of luck and we'll be sure to eat some pizza in his honour this weekend!
Can you help George reach his sponsorship target? He's got just £75 more to go! If you need some motivation, just look how hard he's been training.....
UPDATE 25th October:
George completed the Venice Marathon on Sunday 22nd October 2017, in 3 hours and 47 minutes, a fantastic achievement! His current fundraising total is £429, well over his target of £350. So he deserves a huge well done on both counts.
I actually had a great time for the most part but the last 12k was KILLER! I finished in 3:47 so chuffed with that (the photos are from the last kilometre!). And yes I had pasta AND pizza after.
Well done George!
October 8th 2017, we held the sixth annual Children on the Edge Chichester Half Marathon, raising a record-breaking £33, 294 for our work with vulnerable children around the world.
The event has been growing year-on-year and we were delighted to have a record 1160 runners register for this year's race in one of three popular events - the Half Marathon, Ten Miler and Team Relay.
Organised in conjunction with Everyone Active, the event is one of our key fundraising events throughout the year. It is only made possible thanks to the support of our local sponsors; Montezuma’s Chocolates and Store Property who have generously supported the event each year since is was revived in 2012.
The race has become a popular date in the diary for runners across the South, especially with our challenging multi-terrain course over the Downs taking in the Trundle and Centurion Way.
Ben Wilkes, UK Director at Children on the Edge said:
“This year's race raised a record £33,294, which will make a huge difference to our work with vulnerable children. We are grateful to all our runners, sponsors and supporters who make the event possible and we continue to be blown away by the support we receive from the local community. It’s great to see the event growing year on year and we look forward to next year's race on Sunday 7th October!"
Children on the Edge would like to thank local businesses Chichester College, Covers, Evans Weir, Gnarly Tree, Harries Coffee, Krowmark Workwear, Natures Way Foods, The Run Company, South Downs Water and Wiley for all their support to make the event happen. We couldn't do it without them.
Along with our regular runners, we also had a fantastic team of runners all raising money for Children on the Edge as part of our Run for Refugees Team. Our 25 fundraisers raised an incredible £7,096 for our work with refugee children in Bangladesh and Lebanon. This included, Mrs Salmond Smith, Mr Bromfield & Mr Brittain, teachers from Prebendal School in Chichester, who took part in the Team Relay and raised £255.
Nicky Hellard has volunteered at the Chichester Half Marathon for the past two years and this year decided to run instead. She didn't believe she could finish the race; but took on the challenge, trained hard and built her confidence each week with longer runs, raising £322 in the process.
When asked what she'd say to someone else thinking about fundraising for Children on the Edge she said:
"It is a great charity that does wonderful work right in the front line with the most vulnerable and overlooked children in the world. As charities go they are one of the best, the staff are dedicated and the overheads are extremely low".
We are enormously grateful to everyone who took part, raised money, or supported the event as a volunteer or spectator. We can't wait to see you again next year!
Do you want to take on a challenge for Children on the Edge? Find out how.
Inspirational 58 year old, Chichester resident, Warrell Harries is running this year’s Children on the Edge Chichester Half Marathon, just over a year after suffering a life-changing heart attack.
Last June, Warrell, who considered himself fairly fit and well, suffered a heart attack; which kick started a new healthy lifestyle and commitment to transform his life. We spoke to Warrell this week as he told us his incredible story ahead of the sixth Children on the Edge Chichester Half Marathon next weekend - Sunday 8th October.
His symptoms started one Wednesday morning in June 2016 as he cycled to work; but he didn’t recognise the signs and brushed them off. A few days later, he was out for lunch with friends and family when the same feelings came back. He describes them much like asthma symptoms. As he started to feel worse, he finally decided to go to St Richards in Chichester to get checked out. He was told he was having a heart attack and was sent straight to Queen Alexandra Hospital to see the heart specialists there. After surgery to clear a blocked artery, and fit a couple of stents, Warrell was told he could ‘go back to normal’ in around 6 weeks’ time.
Despite being fairly active, Warrell knew that his drinking and eating habits were probably to blame, and that he did need to start taking better care of himself. He was determined to make a change. In the autumn, his daughter, a keen runner, encouraged him to give running a try. Warrell assumed his asthma would prevent him from running, but bought some cheap trainers and gave it a go.
Soon after, his daughter asked if he was going to do a Parkrun. He was aware of these free Saturday morning timed runs that take place all over the country. But Warrell again assumed this would be far too much for him, as he’d never ran more than 10 minutes in one go. But his determination, and the encouragement of his daughter spurred him on. So, he went along to Oaklands Park in Chichester one Saturday morning to give it a go.
He said that on his first run, he managed to ‘get to the rugby club’ before thinking ‘this was ridiculous’ and gave up. But he returned week after week and hasn’t looked back since.
In July 2017, Warrell was lucky enough to able to meet the founder of Parkrun by chance when on holiday in Lymington. He decided to join in on the local Parkrun as a ‘tourist’. He got chatting to a few people on the course, one of whom took an interest in his story and encouraged him to talk more about his running and how he got there. Warrell didn’t realise that the man he was talking to was in fact Paul Sinton-Hewitt, who founded Parkrun!
Shortly after, a friend Kim, who’d also recently had a health scare, encouraged Warrell to sign up for the Chichester Half Marathon. He thought the course would be too tough, and initially said no. But after a bit of pressure from Kim, and his daughter, he couldn’t refuse! So Warrell will be taking on our beautiful, but tough course next weekend.
His incredible transformation will also benefit Papyrus, the national charity for the prevention of young suicide, as Warrell has chosen to fundraise for them at the race this year. Papyrus is a charity very close to his heart; after he heard about the tragic death of an old colleague’s daughter, who lost his daughter to suicide last year. You can sponsor Warrell on his Just Giving page here.
Warrell said that his heart attack has changed his outlook on life. He doesn’t want to “waste this fabulous opportunity” now he’s been given a second chance. He also said that his new found love of life especially resonates with the work of Papyrus who believe that with appropriate support and education, many young suicides can be prevented. He wants to do his bit to ensure that more young people can be supported.
All of us at Children on the Edge are blown away by Warrells’ story, and we’re so pleased that our flagship fundraising event, the Chichester Half Marathon will play a small part on his recovery journey; as well as help raise vital funds for another worthy charity.
If you'd like to enter the Chichester Half Marathon 2017, you can do so until Wednesday 4th October at 11.30pm. We're also looking for volunteers to help on the day. Find out more below.
School’s out for summer. But you’ll no doubt be seeing lots of ‘Back to School’ branding in the shops and online; as many of you think about getting children kitted out for their return back to school in September.
But getting ‘Back to School’ for the children we work with is a lot more complicated than just buying pens, uniforms and packed lunch boxes. These children face enormous barriers to getting an education, but we help to make it possible.
We need your support so we can keep getting some of the most vulnerable children around the world, back to school and it's why we've launched our Back to School campaign.
A small donation can not only fund things like pens, pencils, bags and uniforms, but can also rent classrooms, pay teachers and fund training. Make a donation here.
How can you help?
1. Buy for Two
If you are buying a new pencil case or school bag over the summer for a child, could you spare the cost of another and #BuyforTwo? We're encouraging parents, caregivers and children to donate the amount you spend on a new item for the school year to Children on the Edge, to help a vulnerable child get back to school.
£5 can provide a place in a tent school for one Syrian refugee child for a week in Lebanon. So the cost of a new pencil case and a few new pens can make a huge difference.
Don't forget to take a picture of the item and let us how much you're donating by sharing it with us on social media with the hashtag #BuyforTwo. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
2. Buy through Give as You Live
If you are planning to buy 'Back to school' supplies online, sign up to Give as You Live to raise money for us for free! By shopping at a selected retailers using online, we get a small donation, without costing you a penny. Every penny counts, so even spending £5 online at Amazon, Tesco or WH Smith can make a difference. Especially if we all do it.
For example, just £1 can provide four days of education for a child at our Early Childhood Development Centre in Loco, Uganda.
3. Make a Regular Donation
A regular donation to Children on the Edge can help to fund our work to get children back to school throughout the whole year. This means you'll be directly supporting a vulnerable child to get a high quality education, in a safe, child friendly environment.
For example £10 can provide books and pencils to help educate three children for a whole school year at one of our schools in Bangladesh, India or Lebanon. So throughout the year, a monthly donation of £3 can go a very long way.
How we help
Your support can help us get more children Back to School this year and continue to deliver the best quality education for children in some of the most vulnerable circumstances. Can you make a donation today?
We're delighted that Ham Manor Golf Club in Angmering is hosting a golf day for Children on the Edge on Thursday 7th September. Tee-off is from 10am.
There is still space to join in for a day of golf in the beautiful Sussex surroundings of Ham Manor, and raise funds for a brilliant cause.
Simon Davies, the organiser says:
"Ham is one of the premier courses in Sussex and the day promises to be great fun with the chance to play some quality golf in a relaxed but competitive format and of course to raise a lot of money.
There will be a range of prizes and even a chance to buy free shots or mulligans to help boost both your score and the funds raised.
There are still some places available at £60 per head to include the golf, plus coffee on arrival and lunch"
If you're interested in buying a ticket, or would like more information please contact Simon Davies on firstname.lastname@example.org.
On July 16th, Christine Smith, who works for The Body Shop At Home took part in the Windmill Half Marathon in Lytham for Children on the Edge.
Christine raised £100 - all helping to support our work with vulnerable children around the world. £100 is enough to cover the costs of educating 100 Syrian refugee children at one of our tented schools in Lebanon for a day.
It was Christine's first ever half marathon, she said "it's safe to say that training didn't go to plan so I kind of 'winged it' on the day but absolutely loved it, mentally (although I'm not sure my body felt the same way as I crossed he finishing line!)".
She explains why she chose to fundraise for Children on the Edge:
"As a Consultant with The Body Shop at Home, Children on the Edge is a charity close to my heart and I follow their activities closely. I like to do something additional to the general fundraising I do at Body Shop parties each year. My children have done things like carol singing around our estate and 'Iron Kids' and last year I did the Yorkshire 3 Peaks".
Christine started running in January last year but got out of the habit during the summer holidays, so she was determined that this year she would do more than a 10k. Inspired by an unplanned 10 mile run, she signed up to the Windmill Half Marathon that night. She said: "I knew that doing it for charity would keep me motivated when training".
We asked Christine what was the best and hardest part of taking on the Windmill Half Marathon:
"The best part was without a doubt the sense of achievement and the camaraderie of the other runners - everyone really encouraged each other. The hardest was when my hip started complaining around the half way mark and the change in position to go downhill on the last stretch caused pain that quite literally took my breath away. It wouldn't put me off doing it again though!"
When asked what she'd say to someone else thinking about fundraising for Children on the Edge she said:
"Just do it. It doesn't have to be huge and every little helps".
Would you like to fundraise for Children on the Edge by taking on a personal challenge, like a walk, run or cycle? Find out more.
17 year old Abby Brooks has spent a week in our Chichester office on work experience. She’s written a blog about her week with us...
I am a student at nearby, Bishop Luffa Sixth Form and I’m studying A Levels in geography, media and maths. Throughout the year in my human geography lessons I touched on topics such as border control issues and refugees which sparked a strong passion and interest within me, inspiring me to learn more. I have set myself a goal to study International Development at University as I believe it will be the stepping stone in finding a career that combines my interest in Human Geography with my passion for charity.
When my school offered the opportunity of a week of work experience I began to research local international charities and was surprised when I came across Children on the Edge right on my doorstep. As most international charities are located in London, I was delighted when they allowed me to join them in the office for a week, as I knew it was an exciting and rare opportunity to find out how a charity is run and gain some vital experience.
I was warmly welcomed by the COTE team on Monday morning and given an interesting and insightful introduction of the charity’s history and current projects. I learnt about the different roles within the office and how each member of the team contributes to the smooth operation of the charity. This opened my eyes to the range of jobs available within a charity organisation, including roles that I had never heard of before such as Operations Manager - who makes sure all the work is kept legal.
Throughout the rest of the day I generally helped with tasks in the office such as sorting through old video tapes of previous COTE projects footage and transferring them onto DVD disks for easier storage. I also explored the COTE website and created a document answering questions such as how easy it was to navigate and suggesting improvements.
Tuesday began with creating thank you letters to local shops and businesses who kindly donated prizes for COTE’s tombola at Priory Park Festival; I was able to not only write the letters but also hand deliver them which I enjoyed as I was representing the charity and got to personally thank the generous businesses in our community. Other tasks included documenting the COTE’s search results to give them an idea of how easy it is to find their website online, and to update the press page on their website by taking press clippings.
The highlight of the week was Wednesday, as I was given the opportunity to sit in a ‘COMMs’ meeting where the team updated one another and planned for upcoming events. A clip about one of COTE’s projects in India was shown and I learnt about the ‘Untouchable’ Dalit children. This really impacted me and made me fully realise the extent to which the help of this charity is desperately needed. I was then set an exciting challenge by my supervisor Amy, to create a presentation which could be used in encouraging other schools to fundraise for Children on the Edge.
I spent the rest of Wednesday and Thursday creating a power point presentation, following their brand image which I really enjoyed as I could express my passion for media and design, as well as broadening my own knowledge and understanding of the charity in the process.
On Friday, to conclude the week I was able to present my presentation to the team which was beneficial as it developed my presenting skills and confidence when speaking to an audience.
Overall my week with Children on the Edge has been impacting and inspiring, as I have expanded my knowledge of international issues through researching COTE’s projects in India, Bangladesh, Uganda, Burma and Lebanon.
Learning how an organisation can reach the children on the very edge of society and change their lives has further encouraged me to study international development at University and hopefully work for an international charity in the future.
Find out how you can volunteer with Children on the Edge
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