More than 75 people in Crawley – from toddlers through to senior citizens – joined the BAPS Annual Challenge on 28 April 2019.
The annual charity Challenge organised by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha brought together more than 3,000 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 Crawley serving children, youths, families and the elderly.
This year’s event will also support the outstanding work of Crawley Open House in the local community. Crawley Open House provides support and services for those suffering the effects of homelessness, unemployment, loneliness, discrimination, or other forms of social exclusion.
The 2019 Challenge will also be supporting BAPS’s national charity partner, the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) – the UK’s leading charity campaigning and working to protect children from neglect, harm and abuse.
Previous national partners for BAPS and BAPS Charities have included Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society, the Anthony Nolan Trust, Barnardo’s, Breast Cancer Care, the British Heart Foundation, Carers UK, Diabetes UK, KIDS, and Macmillan Cancer Support. Locally, the Challenge has helped The Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre in recent years.
The event kicked off shortly after 12.30pm at Goffs Park in the presence of swamis from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
After the opening ceremony, walkers, joggers and runners moved along the perimeter of the park with volunteers stationed along the route to provide guidance, safety and refreshments.
Children also enjoyed the park's play areas and miniature model railway while others participated in various sports and games after the Challenge, rounding off a thoroughly fun day out for the whole family.
One of the lead volunteers for the event, Shailesh Patel, added, “We are extremely grateful for all the generous support we receive, including from Crawley Borough Council and the Goffs Park management. To see so many people young and old coming out on a cold, wet Sunday afternoon for these worthy causes is always very inspiring.”