More than 170 people in Birmingham – from toddlers through to senior citizens – joined the BAPS Annual Challenge on Sunday 30 June 2019.
The charity Challenge organised by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) 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 Birmingham serving children, youths, families and the elderly.
This year’s event will also support the Acorns Children’s Hospice for their outstanding work in the local community. Acorns provides a network of specialist palliative nursing care and support for babies, children and young people aged 0–18 years who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and associated complex needs.
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, 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 Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Action for Children in recent years.
The event kicked off shortly after 11.00am from Shirley Park, Solihull, in the presence of NSPCC and Acorns representatives.
After the opening ceremony, walkers, joggers and runners moved along the 10-kilometre route in the beautiful surroundings of Shirley Park. Volunteers were stationed along the way to guide participants and ensure they remained hydrated throughout the day.
Jenny Sedgwick, Community Fundraising Manger at NSPCC, said, “Thank you for inviting us today. We have really enjoyed working with you and we hope to continue to do so in the future. It’s a sad reality that 1 in 5 children are affected by neglect or abuse. We, at the NSPCC, try to prevent that from happening and work with children and families where that has happened.”
Katerina Gavrilova shared, “It was lovely to see young and old come together to raise funds for these two great charities. The work they do is so inspiring and I’m so happy I could contribute to them in some small way.” 
One of the lead volunteers for the event, Vasant Parikh, added, “It was fantastic to see so many people from the local community get together and raise funds for two worthy causes. We look forward to supporting more good causes in the future.”
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