Local Community News


A teacher from the Isle of Wight was inspired to run the Great South Run on Sunday to show solidarity with refugees around the world.

Primary school teacher Kate Bakewell, who teaches at St Saviour’s Catholic Primary School in Totland, travelled from the Isle of Wight to Portsmouth to complete the 10k Great South Run.

Kate was inspired to run in solidarity with refugees after looking at her own class and wanting to help other children who have had to flee their homes. Fundraising for the aid agency, CAFOD, which has been working alongside refugees, she completed the race in 1hr 56 mins and has so far raised over £220.

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Ms Bakewell said:

“I know that CAFOD and its local partners are working to provide refugees arriving in Europe with the basic items needed to live and also, to provide safe places for child refugees.

“As a primary school teacher, I know how important it is for children to have a welcoming place where they feel safe, and hopefully will be able to raise some funds towards making this happen for children who have had to leave their own home.

“My class at St Saviour’s are currently taking part in CAFOD’s ‘Laudato Si’ Challenge’ and are sending messages of hope to refugees so I am also hoping to inspire some of them to take on their fundraising challenges by taking on the Great South Run!”

Aid agency CAFOD has now received over 13,000 messages to refugees from over 150 schools, parishes and communities across the country. The messages will be dedicated at a special event in November.

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CAFOD is working with local partner organisations in Europe and beyond to provide practical help to those fleeing their homes, calling on the UK government to take a fair and proportionate share of refugees – from both within and outside the European Union – and pushing for the establishment of safe and legal routes to enable refugees to reach safety.

Lynda Mussell, CAFOD representative in Portsmouth, said:

“Many of us feel the same sentiment, that feeling of ‘what can I do to make a difference?’

“The compassion and dedication shown by Ms Bakewell and all who helped her fundraise is extraordinary. This is a very real way of showing solidarity and letting those who have been forced from their homes know that we do care.”

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