News & Events
More than 3,500 people around the country took to the streets and parks on Sunday 18 April 2010 for the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge to raise funds for children and other worthy causes.
BAPS Charities, UK held this year’s event in conjunction with the UK’s leading children’s charity Barnardo’s as well as several smaller charities around the country. It brought together members of the community from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages – ranging from three to over 90 – to walk, jog or run a distance of 10 kilometres. Some of the younger participants dressed as clowns and teamed up with partners to complete the distance three-legged, while others attended in fancy dress.
In London, the BAPS Charities 10k Challenge kicked off amid glorious spring sunshine from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden in the presence of distinguished guests, including the CEO of Barnardo’s Martin Narey and Barnardo’s ambassador and popular TV actress Nina Wadia. Also present at the opening ceremony were Mayor of the London Borough of Brent Cllr Jim O’Sullivan, Deputy Mayoress of the London Borough of Brent Mrs O’Sullivan, Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Harrow Cllr Chris Mote, Deputy Mayoress of the London Borough of Harrow Cllr Janet Mote, PPC Sarah Teather, PPC Dawn Butler, PPC Barry Gardiner, PPC Tony McNulty, PPC Harshad Patel, Cllr Anjana Patel, Cllr Mohammed Butt, Cllr Kanta Mistry, Cllr Harbhajan Singh, Cllr Yogesh Teli, Cllr Zafar Van Kalwala, and Ajay Patel of Goldshield, the major sponsor of the event.
In his address, Mr Narey emphasised the importance of the partnership with BAPS Charities, saying, “The support from you and this partnership is absolutely essential to our work. I really look forward to this partnership being one of the most important in the history of Barnardo’s.”.
Tony McNulty added, “Children are at the heart of what BAPS Charities does and this makes an ideal link with Barnardo’s.”
Noting the great sense of community spirit in the participants, Sarah Teather said, “BAPS Charities is a fantastic organisation, and what is so amazing today is to see the range of ages of people setting off to walk and run. It is a fantastic example to the rest of Britain to see what is happening here at the Mandir today.”
Dawn Butler further added, “I have seen how BAPS Charities approach what they do and how organised they are. When you see the smiles on the faces of young children, they know what they are doing. They are not just going on a walk, but they know why they are going on the walk and what it means.”
Barry Gardiner also commended the charity arm of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, saying, “The key thing is vision and BAPS Charities has that in abundance. With BAPS Charities, you have the volunteering base to make sure always that there is maximum value for the financial resources that are put in.”
Having evolved from the annual ‘Sponsored Family Walk & Fun Run’ to the ‘10k Challenge’, one of the younger participants, Maya Patel (15) of Birmingham, spoke of how enjoyable her day had been. She said, “We always have fun, but this year gave us the chance to be adventurous. We were able to dress up and have our faces painted, which also helped us to raise even more for charity. And with the sun shining, we couldn’t have hoped for a better day.”
The Challenge commenced in London from the Mandir and included two circuits of the scenic King Edward VII Park in Wembley, where bouncy castles had also been set up for the children. It became a fun-filled day for all the family, with refreshments and snacks available throughout the stewarded route.
The BAPS Charities 10k Challenge was completed in a total of 15 centres around the UK, many supporting charities at the local level as well. These included:
Ashton-Under-Lyne: Tameside Blind Association (Charity No: 504603)
Edinburgh: Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living
Glasgow: Yorkhill Children Foundation
Loughborough: The Mayor’s Appeal (Wishes 4 Kids & Warning Zone)
Nottingham: Crocus Fields
Southend-on-Sea: Southend Hospital – Neptune Ward for Children (Charity No: 1057266)
Wellingborough: Kettering General Hospital (Charity No: 1052467)
To learn more about Barnardo’s and their great work, please visit their site here.
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