Henry Green, Commercial Director of Covers Timber and Builders Merchant who are sponsoring the Chichester Half Marathon on Sunday October 14th 2012 is already in training to run it himself.
The 'Chi Half' is a challenging yet beautiful half marathon through Chichester city centre and the South Downs that aims to raise vital funds for our work with overlooked children living on the edges of society.
Henry said: 'This is a great local event and we are proud to be sponsoring Children on the Edge,
the Chichester based international children's charity as well as running in the event myself’.
By paying an entry fee and running the ‘Chi half’ entrants will already be helping our projects where a little money really can go a long way in the places where we work. Just £5 can provide a hot lunch for 10 children for 1 week in our Learning Centres in Bangladesh. The marathon will be a fantastic way to raise funds to continue this and many other vital projects.
Covers joins other local firms supporting the Chichester Half Marathon: Montezuma's, Store Property, Fitness First, Henry Adams, Evans Weir and Carte Blanche.
For further information on the event please visit our 'Chi half' page, e-mail the office or call us on 01243 538530.
Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe and it’s high unemployment, especially in rural areas, means that often migration is perceived as the only survival strategy. In some villages, more than half of the population has migrated overseas in search of work. Consequently many children are living in poverty and without adequate care and are at constant risk of abuse, violence and trafficking.
To tackle these problems where the dangers for children are most evident, we have helped to develop a Child Friendly Space in a small village in southern Moldova. The Centre brings hope to these children by providing after school activities, home work help, nutrition and support. It enables them to be children again.
This year four of the most successful fundraisers from The Body Shop at Home™ won a chance to go on a trip to Moldova to see the project, help out on a fantastic summer play scheme and see with their own eyes what a difference their fundraising is making.
The volunteers threw themselves in whole heartedly to create a proper summer holiday for the children. With arts and crafts, sports and games through the day and puppet shows, bonfires and dancing in the evenings, they really did bring life, colour and fun to the children.
What touched them most deeply was seeing the conditions that the children live in, and hearing about the the situations they go through each day.
Karen described how; “Some of the things that our children take for granted just aren’t there; like constant fresh drinking water from the tap. Here it has to be fetched daily from the well. Seeing children knocking the apples off the tree with balls just to get something to eat humbles me”.
Ben Wilkes from Children on the Edge was delighted to see how much the work of the Centre is increasingly permeating the community. “I’ve really seen a change over the years, I can see it in how the staff are starting to use creative ideas that we’ve shared with them, how much they visit the homes of the children and work to include the disabled children at every level. I’m impressed at how they are connecting with other parts of community like the police, the school and local government. It’s this holistic approach that will start to see the downward spiral turned around.”
Find out more about our Child Friendly Space in Moldova and donate to the project.
As part of the activities at the Child and Community Centre we support in Viqueque, East Timor, Children on the Edge have been running play schemes with volunteers from The Body Shop staff since 2003. This year’s play scheme was another amazing trip for our seven fantastic volunteers from across The Body Shop Asia Pacific region.
On the first day the volunteers were greeted with a dance performance by the young girls who used to attend our morning Kindergarten. This was followed by a meeting with Padre Divo who is now the custodian of the project in Viqueque as we transition out of Timor.
Central to all of our programmes is a commitment to adapt and alter what we provide as the needs of the children evolve. Part of this is reflected in our principle of investing in the local communities until a time where they are able to own and implement the projects for themselves. We are delighted that the Centre here in Viqueque is now entirely locally managed and receives funding from the local education department.
Children on the Edge will be supporting them to ensure a smooth transition until February 2013. Our director, Rachel Bentley said of the Centre's move towards independence; "I am inspired and encouraged by how well the local community are taking on the ownership of this project in Viqueque. It's success is that it no longer needs our full support but we will remain in touch with the friends we have made in the community and look forward to watching the work flourish in the coming years."
Later in the week the play scheme volunteers joined High School students from St. Stevens School on their annual environmental outing in Loihuno village where stories were shared with the children about the natural environment in our respective countries. Activities were also organised for three primary schools in town and the centre received a new playground set thanks to The Body Shop Australia.
All of this was in addition to daily arts, crafts and outdoor activities for the more than 200 children that arrived at the centre every afternoon. They got stuck in to mask making, painting, bracelet making, origami, badminton, skipping, football, photography lessons for the older children and a 'toothbrushing' hygiene class with the kindergarten.
Our Asia Pacific Consultant, Jo-anne Aeria said "Once again we feel truly privileged to be a part of the community of Viqueque after all these years and everyone who visits always leaves with a special piece of Timor in their hearts."
Find out more about our current support of the Child and Community Centre in East TImor and donate to our work.
Despite reducing the event from three days to one, as a result of extreme weather throughout the region, the British Gas Great North Swim still saw over 5,000 swimmers take on half mile, one mile or two mile distances at Lake Windermere in Cumbria on June 24th.
To make sure they are really “walking the talk” when it comes to their slogan ‘Beauty With Heart’, a small team from The Body Shop® joined these thousands of brave swimmers to raise money for our projects. The team was made up of Clare Judic, Gemma Glenister, Becky Taylor, Liz Harrington, Sam Thomson and Steve Middleton who all swam an entire mile in Lake Windermere, despite the previous storms.
On the day, the Lake District was flooded and trees had fallen down with the high winds, yet the team pressed on to the start line via a ferry, and a miles’ walk. They arrived a little flustered because of the need to change into their wetsuits very quickly. Appropriate lashings of Body Shop body butter (recommended by the wet suit hire company) helped enormously to get the wet suits on with the added bonus of soft skin after the swim!
After donning swim caps with a timing chip attached they headed for the start line and 'acclimatisation' in the water before the official start. Liz described the experience; “Wow that's cold!!! Even with a wetsuit on, you needed to keep moving to keep warm”.
After best wishes from well known swimmer Duncan Goodhew, they started their 1 mile swim. All the team did brilliantly (despite the lifeguards mistaking Liz’s back stroke for a help signal!) and have already raised over £2,000.
We’d like to say how grateful we are to these brave swimmers for completing this challenge to support our work. You can still donate at their justgiving page and if you’re interested in taking on your own challenge for Children on the Edge then get in touch!
A month ago Victoria Smith attempted her first ever marathon to raise money for our work. She had plumped for the Edinburgh marathon and having only done a few 10K races over the years it was a challenge to to start training in the cold, wet and windy winter weather.
By the time she could run for 15 miles she felt her feet were never going to forgive her. It was hard pacing the inner city streets of Leeds on her own every Sunday, while her friends were snuggled on the sofa! She said “motivation is tough to come by, but it helped knowing that I was doing to make a difference to a child somewhere in desperate need”.
Victoria became a Body Shop at Home™ consultant in June last year and had gone along to a number of meetings where there were updates about the work done by Children on the Edge across the world. When she decided to take the plunge and complete a marathon for the first ever time in her 30th year she said “I couldn't of chosen a more deserving charity to run for as I felt inspired by all the other consultants who were undertaking various activities in aid of this great cause”.
When the big day came it was 24 degrees and no amount of training could have prepared her for hours running in the sun with absolutely no shade. Despite this, Victoria completed the marathon in 5 hours and 19 seconds and was pleased with her result. Just over a week later she was fully recovered and back in her trainers!
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Victoria and congratulate her on this once in a lifetime achievement. She has already raised over £750 for our projects so she can rest assured that all her hard work has had a massive impact not just on her leg muscles, but in the lives of some of the most overlooked children on the edges of society.
If Victoria’s story has inspired you to take on a challenge for Children on the Edge, then get in touch.