More than 250 people in South London – from toddlers through to senior citizens – joined the BAPS Annual 10K Challenge on Sunday 15 April 2018.
The annual charity Challenge organised by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) brought together more than 3,200 enthusiastic participants from towns and cities across the UK for a fun and healthy way to raise money for various worthy causes and local charities.
The funds will go towards supporting BAPS’s multifarious educational, community and spiritual activities in South London serving children, youths, families and the elderly.
This year’s event will also support Croydon Nightwatch for their outstanding work in the local community of providing urgent and necessary items of food, clothing, toiletries, and household goods to homeless people in need.
The 2018 Challenge will also be supporting BAPS’s national charity partner, Carers UK, the country’s only national membership charity for carers. It aims to make life better for the 6.5 million people in the UK who are supporting a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill.
Previous national partners for BAPS and BAPS Charities have included Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, the Anthony Nolan Trust, Barnardo’s, Breast Cancer Care, the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, KIDS, and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The event kicked off shortly after 10am from Beddington Conference Centre, Croydon, in the presence of Hannah Hockin from Carers UK and Tony Packwood of Croydon Nightwatch.
Addressing the gathering, Tony Packwood reiterated one of the mottos of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, to be “selfless and not selfish, living as one big family”, and that funds raised for the local charity will be of great benefit to the local homeless people around Croydon.
After the opening ceremony, walkers, joggers and runners moved along the 10-kilometre route through Wallington High Street, Mellows Park and Purley Way, with over 50 volunteers stationed along the route for information, health and safety, as well as providing refreshments to the participants.
Dharvi Patel, 16, shared, “I really enjoyed the 10K walk as it was fun walking with family and friends for a good cause. I am proud that we had an opportunity to also help homeless people in Croydon.”
One of the lead volunteers for the event, Kiran Patel, added, “It was great to see so many participants taking part across a wide variety of ages, young and old. The volunteers out on the roads have done a fantastic job offering their time and support for these great causes. We are guided and inspired by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj to care for and serve our families, friends and members of society. We’re also delighted to have this opportunity to further the commendable work of Croydon Nightwatch and to help others who share our spirit of service.”