After the 2019 Chichester Half Marathon boasted its highest registration numbers to date; co-organisers Children on the Edge will be stepping out on a high, passing full responsibility for the management of the event to their partners, Everyone Active.
Chichester based charity Children on the Edge revived the annual running event in 2011 together with Chichester District Council (latterly Everyone Active) and have continued to grow the race ever since, with profits going to their work with marginalised children around the world.
Ben Wilkes, the charity’s Executive Director says “It’s been a privilege to revive this much-loved event and to see it become increasingly popular on the Chichester calendar over the last eight years.”
Entering its 30th year in 2020, Children on the Edge now supports over 10,000 refugee children with a small staff team based in Chichester. Wilkes says, “We’ve been delighted at the high numbers, but as a small charity we feel that the time is right to pass the baton to Everyone Active, enabling us to focus on recruiting charity runners and invest more time in meeting the growing need we are seeing in the areas where we work”.
Having partnered with Children on the Edge to deliver the event for the last few years, Everyone Active is well versed in the organisation of The Chichester Half. The multi terrain event sits comfortably in the collection of large-scale sporting events they deliver in the area throughout the year, including the Midhurst Ramble Sportive and Nature’s Way Foods Chichester Triathlon Series.
Stuart Mills, Contract Manager for Everyone Active says “It has been great to work alongside Children on the Edge for so many years, supporting such a worthy cause and delivering one of the most popular local running events. We are excited for the future of the event and all set to make the 2020 Chichester Half the best race yet. This city and its surrounds offer an incredible backdrop to getting active and the multi terrain Chichester Half event is one of the best ways to enjoy it”.
The 2020 Chichester Half Marathon is set to take place on the 4th October and early bird offers will be launched in the New Year. Runners can find out more and register their interest by clicking this link.
As 2019 draws to a close, we have been reflecting on the past 12 months and wanted to share our top five milestones from the year.
It’s been one year since Wandago Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD Centre) opened. Since then huge progess has been made and the 75 children who attend the ECD Centre are benefitting significantly from their education and achieving increasingly impressive results.
10-year-old Stanley Wilkes visited Uganda last month on behalf of Jessie Younghusband school student council. He spent time with the inspirational ‘Child Rights Clubs’ we support here, who are changing their communities in the slums surrounding Jinja. Now he is back in Chichester, exploring with his friends how they can put what he’s learnt into practice.
Not only this, but the children here have been leading transformation since 2017. When we first started working here, we asked the children what needed to change. They took us on a tour of the area and told us about some of the problems they faced. We interviewed many of them, and they created a map of Wandago with sticks, leaves and stones to show us the places that were safe and the places where they felt afraid.
They told us about high levels of child exploitation, that there was little access to education and a lack of healthy jobs due to all the dangerous breweries that dominate the area. One of the main problems they described was how when they went to the well for water alone, many girls had been victims of rape and sexual assault.
In the last few years, the Child Protection Team in Wandago have been working to stop this. They have done regular spot checks at the well, many workshops on child protection and ensured that no-one walks there by themselves. Since this point there have been no attacks.
They have been working on wider issues too, supporting the opening of a new Early Childhood Development Centre, and starting a small loan scheme to create healthy livelihoods and make it possible for parents to send children to school.
The same children who raised their voices about these needs in Wandago are now part of the Child Rights Club, piloted in Loco, but now also active in Masese I and Wandago. They are trained about their rights and work hand in hand with the Child Protection Team.
Babra is the social worker for Children on the Edge Africa. She says,
Children in Wandago are now not only safer, but teaching other children about being safer, delivering regular workshops to hundreds of younger children, and talking to parents about how to clean up the area and make sure children can go to school.
They started the change, and they continue to lead, watch the video above and share the great news about the impact these children are having.
Over the last 6 months, fundraisers have taken on a huge variety of challenges for us. We’ve had runners, cyclists, walkers and rowers signing up for incredibly tough challenges with one common goal, to raise money for Children on the Edge.
We’re incredibly grateful to our Run for Refugees runners, who have recently raised thousands for our work with some of the most marginalised children in the world.
Our 20-strong team took part in the Chichester Half Marathon event on October 6th, with different runners taking on the full marathon, the relay, ten miler and the nordic walk. Getting sponsored by friends and family for their efforts, together they have now raised over £5,000.
Lucy Hobden said, "I have always wanted to do a half marathon and the Chichester Half seemed like a great first one for me to do. Great atmosphere before and after the race. Was also such a beautiful run at the top of the hill. Children on the Edge is a great charity that goes beyond others by going to places that other charities don't".
Not all our runners could make it to Chichester for the Half Marathon Event, but Kim Ozano did not let this deter her from fundraising! Feeling passionate about the challenges faced by refugee families, she decided to create her own alternative challenge of running a marathon a week for a month, raising over £450.
After their first Community clean up campaign in Loco, Uganda, the Child Rights Club here have been inspiring and training hundreds of other children around Jinja.
Two more clubs have been launched in the last year, one in Masese I and the latest in Wandago. Clubs are given regular workshops on rights, responsibilities, how to work hand-in-hand with local Child Protection Teams and how to prevent instances of child labour, exploitation and abuse. They then take their training out to a wider audience of children in their communities.
Here’s four examples of the clubs in action and the kind of difference they are starting to make.