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Sitting on the lawn in the sunshine at Gites de la Richarderie

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My half marathon for Save the Children and Medecins Sans Frontieres

robin hood nottingham half marathon

With my training buddies from See How She Runs



I’ve become intensely aware of my freedom to roam this summer. Maybe it’s the places I’ve travelled to – kayaking and sailing around a Greek Island for sheer pleasure, travelling freely through Dover and Calais to be reunited with family who live near Paris, and this week I will land in Turkey, where photos from those shores, of a lost boy so close in age to my own children, have made me cry.  I have made me feel intensely privileged to be travelling for pleasure while others are travelling, in hideous conditions, to flee war, poverty and oppression.


Now it is time to act.


I will be honest, my first half marathon later this month was just going to be between me and the race. It’s my biggest physical challenge to date. But as each new training run takes me further out of my comfort zone, my thoughts are with displaced people all over the world facing unfathomable challenges.

But this isn’t about me, it’s about raising awarenss of two amazing charities who are doing great things to create a more positive future and to sustain change.


I’ve donated to them both and I would love you to consider it too. I know lots of people have already donated, but every little helps.


I’ve picked Save the Children and Medecins Sans Frontieres, two charities doing incredible things to support those caught up in the world’s biggest refugee crisis since the second world war.

Save the Children work in the countries refugees are fleeing, along the routes they take and in the countries they arrive in. They have been doing so for decades. Their campaigning is thought provoking. The video ‘What if Surrey were Syria’ reminded me of teaching children in Surrey about refugess as a Drama teacher – it’s exactly the shift in attitude the world needs.



Hearing that Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders saved over 1500 lives in one day at sea in the Med this summer promted me to support them – people taking desparate measures to escape desparate situtations. MSF or Doctors without Borders provide emergency medical and psychological aid to those caught up in war and disaster, as well as bearing witness to what is happening. Their videos from the front line are powerful, as is their work.



My giving page is here, thanks for reading.


How else can you help?

From what I read taking a stand and using your voice can really make a difference and push governments to act faster and bigger to make rapid change. Sign the government petition, which already has hundreds of thousands of signatures.

Attend the Solidarity with Refugees march on 12 September, which has tens of thousands intending to participate, or one of the local marches all around the country, and use your network and social media to encourage as many others as possible to do the same. Peaceful protest is an incredibly powerful way of representing what we want to the world.


Useful resources

The Independent and The Guardian both published articles on how you can help.

When people question the backgrounds of the people in Calais, I think this photo story brings it into perspective.

Banksy on Facebook – always makes me think


1 Comment

  1. Becky
    10/09/2015 / 4:55 am

    Good luck Penny and what wonderful important causes you have chosen

I'd love to know your thoughts!