More than 180 people in Ashton-Under-Lyne – from toddlers through to senior citizens – joined the BAPS Annual 10K Challenge on Sunday 22 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 Ashton and Greater Manchester serving children, youths, families and the elderly.

This year’s event will also support the outstanding work of The Ticker Club in local communities across Greater Manchester. The Ticker Club is an association of ex-patients who have undergone some form of open-heart surgery or other cardiac procedure at Wythenshawe Hospital (UHSM), home to one of the country’s leading cardiac centres. The Club, founded in 1987, offers support throughout the North West to patients and families suffering from heart or vascular problems.

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. Locally, the Challenge has helped Tameside4Good, Willow Wood Hospice and Our Kids in recent years.

Participants were also able to take advantage of health screening workshops provided by the NHS Pennine Care Trust and Tameside Be Well. Nicolette Tracey, NHS Health Check coordinator, commented, “It’s really good to come to this event which reaches out to the community. Everything is well organised and everyone seems to want to engage in exercise and make lifestyle changes.”

The event kicked off shortly after 11.00am from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Manchester, in Ashton, in the presence of Cllr Joyce Bowerman, the Civic Mayor of Tameside. Also present was John Phillips (Chairman of The Ticker Club), Nicolette Tracey (NHS Health Check coordinator), Matthew Hutchinson (Tameside Be Well coordinator) and other NHS colleagues. 

Addressing the gathering and acknowledging the work of BAPS, Joyce Bowerman said, “I think it is wonderful that as a local community you come together each year to raise money for your local charities.”

After the opening ceremony, walkers, joggers and runners moved along the 10-kilometre route along Lees Road, through Hartshead Estate and back to Russell Street. Volunteers were stationed throughout the route to provide information, refreshments and look after the safety of participants.

Reshma Parmar-Hill, a lead volunteer, shared, “I’m really pleased that we are supporting The Ticker Club this year. Their tremendous work has made a lasting difference to so many lives, including that of my husband who was suffering from a heart condition last year. We are also delighted to see so many different organisations and communities. A special thanks to Tameside Be Well and The Ticker Club as well as all the participants and well-wishers for supporting this year’s Challenge.”

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