More than 170 people in Ashton-under-Lyne – from toddlers through to senior citizens – joined the BAPS Annual Challenge on 12 May 2019.
The annual charity Challenge organised by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) brought together over 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 Ashton and Greater Manchester serving children, youths, families and the elderly.
This year’s event will also support The Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Charity for its outstanding work in local communities across the region. The Charity provides relief from poverty and distress for people suffering the effects of or threats from homelessness, and also works with other disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
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 Ticker Club, Tameside4Good, Willow Wood Hospice and Our Kids in recent years.
The event kicked off shortly after 11.00am from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Manchester in the presence of Cate Meredith, Senior Consultant from the NSPCC National Training Centre, and Prital Sachdev, a prominent local businessman.
Addressing the gathering, Cate Meredith said, “Thank you to BAPS for supporting the NSPCC. It is hugely impressive and humbling to see many people of all ages and abilities coming together because you care about keeping children and young people safe.”
After the opening ceremony, walkers, joggers and runners moved through the Challenge route along Lees Road, through Hartshead Estate and back to Russell Street. Volunteers provided information, refreshments and helped to ensure the safety of all participants along the route.
Reena Biddle, a participant, shared, “This is a great event and I really enjoyed walking with my family. It was great to see families and so many children taking part and raising money for a charity that makes life better for children.”
One of the lead volunteers for the event, Thakor Patel, added, “I’m really pleased that we are supporting the NSPCC and The Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Charity. Their tremendous work makes a lasting difference to the lives of vulnerable children and adults. A special thanks to Cate Meredith and all the participants and well-wishers for supporting this year’s Challenge.”