Tag Archive: challenge

Mercy for mankind: Youngsters aim to surpass £500,000 fundraising effort

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The largest youth organisation in Britain with some 700 members, some as young as five-years-old, took part in a £500,000 fundraising effort.

Members of the AMYA from Bradford as well youth from all across the country held its 'Mercy for Mankind' Charity Challenge on Saturday 19th August in Fitz Park, Keswick.

This year welcomes the 33rd Charity Challenge, which first began in 1985. The group says that the purpose of all these activities is to engender the spirit of discipline and service to the wider community irrespective of people’s beliefs, race, or gender.

Their motto ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ underpins this ethos.

Since its inception AMYA has raised in excess of £2 million for UK charities. The event is generally hosted in a different location each year, with previous locations including the Tower of London, Hyde Park, Battersea Park, Hampshire and the Yorkshire Dales.

UK charities to benefit from the fundraising include The Royal British Legion, Save the Children, NSPCC, Barnardos, CLIC Sargent, UNICEF, British Red Cross, Cumbria Community Foundation and others.

Wadood Daud, Regional youth leader for North East said: “We raise hundreds of thousands of pounds every year for British charities. This year again, many of us are travelling to the Lake for the Mercy for Mankind Charity Challenge to raise funds for the most needy in our society without any distinction of faith, colour or creed.”

"The annual charity challenge is the highlight of the year. This year the half marathon in the Lake District was fantastic, a proper challenge in a lovely part of the world! And all that whilst raising thousands of for British charities- its really is one of the best annual events for me,” commented Qasim Amini.

Nasrullah Saeed said: "During the charity challenge, a lady asked me what was taking place and when I told here about the charity walk she donated some money and she thanked me as well for taking part.

“She already knew about our youth organisation because of our flood relief work last year and she was also very happy to see us again. I really enjoyed the positive and welcoming atmosphere."

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Battle of the bots: Infrastructure robotic systems challenge event in Leeds to showcase the future

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Dr. Bilal Kaddouh pictured with some of the robots that he uses

Dr. Bilal Kaddouh pictured with some of the robots that he uses

 

Experts in the field of robotics and systems will battle it out as ten of the most advanced infrastructure robots and systems currently in development will be put to the test at the UK robotics resilient in challenge event in Leeds.

The event at University of Leeds next month will see the most talented University teams display their advanced infrastructure robots and systems.

Dr. Bilal Kaddouh, one of the coordinators and organisers of the event, will showcase his incredibly inventive systems.

“I’m currently researching at University of Leeds focusing on the design of aerial robotics systems for autonomous inspection and maintenance of cities infrastructure,” he said.

“This involves the design of a UAV equipped with tracks, depth sensor and a tar 3D printer nozzle. The UAV will be able to detect cracks and potholes, drive on the ground over the location of the cracks and seal them using the tar extruder currently being designed by UCL.

“This will allow road maintenance at reduced costs and minimise disruption to traffic.”

But the doc isn’t stopping at one project – he’s also working on another system - one which he described as an ‘earthmoving site operation management system using a fleet of drones controlling ground earth moving assets’.

Asked what this means exactly, Dr. Bilal obliged: “It’s a solution where earthmoving trucks are fully guided by a UAVs. The trucks follow simple operations with no obstacle avoidance sensors and therefore receive all the instructions from the UAVs who continuously monitor position.

“The UAVs navigate several trucks simultaneously and safely navigate them through detected obstacles including other trucks. The UAVs receive requests from various parts of the site for more earthmoving trucks, which are then directed to these areas on demand.

“The system is designed to use multiple collaborating UAVs that are fully instrumented reducing the likelihood of breakdown or failure, while reducing cost of instrumenting a large fleet of trucks.

“It also allows global efficient planning, and safe integration with other human driven vehicles which will be demonstrated during the competition.”

Dr. Bilal is also planning ahead and spoke of his planned future research projects he said: “I am looking at the design of UAV with manipulator (robotic arms) onboard that is able to perch on high structures inspect them and perform maintenance tasks at height.

“I expect this to take around two years and beyond that who knows what the future will hold for me.”

The event, which takes place on the 27th and 28th of July, is in collaboration with, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network.

The event is being staged at the EPSRC National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems. A £4.3 million facility which gives researchers access to a suite of facilities and technologies to aid robot design and construction that is amongst the most advanced in the world.

The aim of the challenge is to highlight the latest research and development projects by putting robots on the conference floor to demonstrate their capabilities.

With a panel of expert judges choosing the winner with the finalists sharing a £5,000 prize to further enable robot improvements.

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Ramadan run for refugees: Biggest challenge yet for charity stalwart

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HELPING HAND: Nazim Ali has raised thousands for charity, here he is pictured with Syrian children

HELPING HAND: Nazim Ali has raised thousands for charity, here he is pictured with Syrian children

For many fundraisers, completing a 10km challenge would be enough of a task in aid of charity. Add to that, no food and drink for 19 hours, and you have Nazim Ali’s Ramadan Run.

The 35-year-old, a Careers Advisor form Bradford, has raised over £63,000 for charity for a whole plethora of humanitarian causes in recent years - through running several marathons to leg-busting mountain treks.

On Sunday 3rd July, for the third consecutive year, Nazim will take on a 10km run whilst fasting, as he heads to Gateshead for the Great North Run.

The challenge will be both physically and mentally draining for the charity champion as he will have no access to water or food.

However, Nazim said his struggle is ‘nothing in comparison to the plight of the Syrian Refugees’.

For the first time in Nazim’s life, he will not attend the special meditation programme at the Masjid on the night before the race.

He said: “The night of the 2nd July will mark the holy night of 27th Ramadan. For many Muslims, worship during this night alone is better than 1,000 months. It is a personal sacrifice on my part to not be at my local Masjid.

“I will be spending the night in my hotel room in preparation for my run on the Sunday morning. For the last two years whilst fasting, I have ran the Leeds 10K but unfortunately this year’s race is after Ramadan, hence the reason I have entered the Great North 10K.”

Nazim is raising funds for Syrian refugees, having completed aid visits to the refugee camps in recent years.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrian children have become orphaned because of the five year war in their country, which shows no signs of ending.

PERSONAL SACRIFICE: This will be the first time Nazim has not attended a special meditation programme at the Masjid before the race

PERSONAL SACRIFICE: This will be the first time Nazim has not attended a special meditation programme at the Masjid before the race

Many have lost their parents to the conflict and others have witnessed horrific crimes a child should never have to experience.

“Their accounts from my recent aid trip really moved me to continue supporting them. It was heart breaking seeing the sadness on their faces,” Nazim added.

Nazim visited Syria in 2006 on a personal holiday with two other friends and was taken aback at the wonderful hospitality he received from the Syrian people.

He said: “I am greatly saddened by what is currently happening in the country so I thought I'd make my small contribution with the general public's support.

“SKT Welfare is working with local networks on the ground to identify and help vulnerable families, who can’t get into refugee camps due to overcrowding, and provide them with essential food, household and medical aid.”

During this Ramadan, Nazim is aiming to raise £10,000 to support Syrian orphans for one year in the Springs of Hope Orphanage and Family Centre in the Turkish and Syrian border town of Reyhanli.

“I was there only three weeks ago for the Ramadan Deployment,” he said.

“There are approximately 149 Syrian Orphans and countless widows residing here.

“The charity has permission from the authorities to bring another 30 Syrian orphans from war torn Syria in the coming months.”

People can sponsor Nazim through www.justgiving.com/nazim009

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Read-y steady go! Summer volunteering opportunity for teens

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BIG FRIENDLY READ: Young adult volunteers are needed to help children take part in the Big Friendly Read Summer Reading Challenge

BIG FRIENDLY READ: Young adult volunteers are needed to help children take part in the Big Friendly Read Summer Reading Challenge

Volunteers aged 12 to 18 are needed to help run activity sessions for children taking part in the Big Friendly Read Summer Reading Challenge during the summer holidays.

No experience is required - volunteers just need to attend three activity sessions at Tameside libraries during the school holidays and be able to explain things in a clear, friendly and enthusiastic way. All the support they need will be provided.

As well as helping out with crafts and games, this year they will have the opportunity to work with other volunteers to plan and run some sessions.

They will be able to develop their planning, communication and teamwork skills and boost their confidence.

It’s also a great way to get involved in the local community, do something useful with their time in the holidays and make new friends.

Anyone interested in becoming a Big Friendly Read volunteer can find out more at www.tameside.gov.uk/libraries/src/volunteer. The closing date is Saturday 25th June.

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From Underground to all around…

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BICYCLE BOY WONDER: Adam Sultan will cycle over 46,000 unsupported miles around the Earth (Pic credit: David Altabev)

BICYCLE BOY WONDER: Adam Sultan will cycle over 46,000 unsupported miles around the Earth (Pic credit: David Altabev)

Tube worker set to travel the globe in 80 ways

For most adventurers, flying around the world in an aeroplane would present enough of a challenge, but for Adam Sultan - named as one of the most inspiring adventurers of 2015 –  he believes taking to the air is far too easy.

The intrepid former Underground worker has made things even harder for himself. As he prepares to polish up his saddle and cycle around the world, he will peddle over the planet on a journey that will cover at least 46,000 unsupported miles.

On the 18th of June, he will set off from the London Olympic Velodrome, turning his pedals for the first time on a trip that may take up to five years to complete.

Adam has set himself a number of tough challenges to complete along the way, which he hopes will continue his mission of inspiring and helping others.

Physical challenges will include cycling the 2014 Tour de France route, a tough feat for even the most seasoned of riders; avoiding the ‘quick’ round the world route and instead heading through the great mountain ranges of the Himalayas, Andes, Alps, and Rockies, and continuing his #LifeYears challenge.

For 2015, he ran 15 marathons around the globe. This year his task involves doing at least 16 days where he pushes 100 miles or more on the bike.

Aside from the riding he’s also looking to participate in Citizen Science, hoping to feed information back to researchers that will help in the fields of astronomy, light pollution and conservation.

He’s committed to going ‘Around the World in Eighty Ways’ working in eighty different jobs, mainly voluntary, as he travels, to really immerse himself in different cultures and help where he can.

Furthermore he hopes to use his social media channels to tell the stories of those who don’t normally have a voice and raise money and awareness for charities working in the different countries he travels through, such as SEED Madagascar (www.madagascar.co.uk) a small London based charity who do humanitarian and conservation work in Madagascar, one of the poorest countries on the planet.

In this era of sensationalized adventures and adventurers, some may feel that a London Underground worker cycling round the world without trying to set a record or a ‘first’ isn’t exciting news, but Adam’s trip harks back to an older era where adventure wasn’t just about pushing your body to the limits, but was about exploration, meeting new people and discovering the world around you by immersing yourself in it.

Adam hopes this will be the legacy of his trip and that people will feel this is just as worthy as a record breaking ride.

He said: “As much as I admire and respect many of today’s modern adventures, I hope my trip shows people that sometimes we need to slow down a bit and not just rush into a place, take some photos and shoot off again having ticked a list.

“ I hope it inspires people to get to really know new environments and the people in them and if needed lend a helping hand.”

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Huff and puff for hearts

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Not long to go until Heart Research UK’s Three Peaks challenge

People from across the UK have been invited to join Heart Research UK and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's Three Peaks Project for a ‘Day in the Dales’ on 18th June.  

Set within the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, the free event will give families plenty of fun and active things to do while raising money to fund research into the treatment, prevention and cure of heart disease, as well as maintaining the Three Peaks path.

Now in its 20th year, the 25-mile route will provide spectacular scenery and is sure to get the heart pumping.  

The challenge covers three of the highest peaks in the Yorkshire Dales - Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

The charity now needs as many people as possible to do one, two or even three peaks.

Amir Akhtar, 33, completed the Three Peaks in 2012 with some of his colleagues from Barclays Bank.

The weather “wasn’t brilliant”, but he and some of his co-walkers battled through to complete it and raised £660, which Barclays match-funded, making it over £1,000 for the charity.

He said: “It’s a great cause. It’s something everyone should get involved with. It’s a fantastic event where you get a sense of accomplishment for completing a tough challenge, as well as giving back to those who need it most.”

Amir, who is from Bradford, said he would ‘definitely’ do it again.

“It’s lovely to walk in the hills and valleys with your friends, enjoying the fresh air and getting the heart thumping,” he recalled.

When Amir completed the Three Peaks four years ago, the charity’s cause didn’t affect him directly. It was only later that it became something ‘close to his heart’.

He said: “My nephew had to have open heart surgery from birth and now our family have experienced what it means to deal with heart issues directly.”

Heart Research UK are keen to promote ways in which families can be active together.

Around 80 per cent of five to 15-year-olds in England fail to meet the current physical activity recommendations and 27 per cent of UK adults do not achieve even 30 minutes of exercise each week.

At ‘Day in the Dales’ there will be lots of fun modern and traditional activities and sport for families to try.  There is also a 5K nature trail.

Designed to get children excited about countryside and woodland walks, the walk encourages children to note the sights and sounds around the village, learn about nature and to keep an eye out for house martins and woodpeckers.   

Barbara Harpham, National Director at Heart Research UK said: “Day in the Dales will be a great day out, giving families the opportunity to get out of the city and get active while enjoying a great day out.  There's also a sports day for kids; challenges; stalls and games, as well as rides and nature exhibits.  Our 5K Nature Trail gets families walking, finding, collecting and learning.”  
Money raised at the Day in the Dales will be spent on helping hearts near you and to protect the Three Peaks paths for generations to come.  Heart Research UK are asking people to raise money by getting sponsored for the 5K Nature Trail.   

Anyone interested in taking part can ring 0113 234 7474 or visit www.heartresearch.org.uk/DID or www.heartresearch.org.uk/3-peaks

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Run, walk or cycle for your 2016 charity challenge

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FUNDRAISERS: The Halifax to Bradford runners are hoping to raise more than £10,000 this year

FUNDRAISERS: The Halifax to Bradford runners are hoping to raise more than £10,000 this year

Places still available for Halifax to Bradford fundraiser

In 2014, they raised £2,000, in 2015 it was £7,000, and now, with just weeks to go until the 2016 Halifax to Bradford charity run,  the organising team are hoping to break all records and smash their five-figure target.

Open to all ages and abilities, the Islamic Relief-backed run challenges fundraisers to pound the pavement in the name of charity, running, jogging or walking the near 10km distance.

Set up two years ago by 32-year-old Khalifa Mughal, from Halifax, the run initially raised funds solely for Islamic Relief.

This year, funds will be shared between that cause and the British Red Cross with all funds going towards projects helping children around the world.

Khalifa said: “The run this year is a childrens appeal. Basically this year we will be helping the children all across the board, from Syria Palestine and the refugee camps to here in the UK.

“Children know nothing of the ugliness life can have. They know nothing of politics and so forth, and there are a lot of them out there who need help and we just want to do what we can.

The run takes place on Sunday 28th February with runners setting off from Halifax town centre en route to Centenary Square, in Bradford.

Children as young as seven-years-old through to 70 will be taking part in the race with Khalifa’s grandad once again signed up for the hilly challenge.

“It will be the third year my grandad will have done the run which is really good going,” Khalifa added. “He’s told me he won’t be using his bus pass this year so that will be good.”

The event has grown in popularity every year since its conception and has such become an annual event on the Islamic Relief fundraising calendar.

With the aim of smashing their previous fundraising goals, Khalifa said he was hoping to help as many children as possible.

“The more we make the merrier, but it’s not all about hitting targets for me,” he said. “It’s all about making a conscious effort and doing as much as we can to help.

“As long as we raise money to help the children who need it most, I will be happy.”

If you would like to take part in the Halifax to Bradford run later this month, please contact Khalifa directly on 07772 502543 or visit www.fundraise.islamic-relief.org.uk/event/HalifaxtoBradford

Runners are asked to attempt to raise £150 in sponsorship with all who sign up in advance receiving a free personalised hoodie and medal at the finish line.

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Sky Ride Bradford: 4,000 people turnout for city centre cycle

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ON YOUR MARKS: Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Joanne Dodds, sets off on the 5km route alongside Naz Ali

ON YOUR MARKS: Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Joanne Dodds, sets off on the 5km route alongside Naz Ali

Thousands of cyclists of all ages and abilities lined up alongside an Olympic Gold medallist in Bradford last weekend as two wheels proved better than four throughout the city’s streets.

British cycling legend, Jason Queally, was on hand to lead this year’s Sky Ride Bradford event, which once again resulted in the city turning yellow as families and friends cycled through traffic-free routes in their signature high-visibility vests.

The five kilometre route passed through some of the city’s most iconic landmarks including Little Germany and Bradford Cathedral, whilst a host of free activities and entertainment was available for people to join in.

BUSY: Over 4,000 people took to the streets of Bradford last weekend for the annual Sky Ride event

BUSY: Over 4,000 people took to the streets of Bradford last weekend for the annual Sky Ride event

Queally also took part in a Q&A session at The Hub in City Park after taking on a Halfords mechanic for the tyre pump challenge.

Tom Mutton, British Cycling Recreation Manager for Bradford said: “Once again, we’ve seen Bradford struck by the cycling bug.

“It’s been great to see so many people get together with their family and friends and take to the city’s streets on their bikes.

“The atmosphere has been electric and I hope that it will have inspired people to get out cycling more often.”

CHALLENGE: British Gold medallist, Jason Queally, competes in a tyre pump challenge

CHALLENGE: British Gold medallist, Jason Queally, competes in a tyre pump challenge

Elsewhere on the day, the ‘Tricks and Tunes’ area at the back of Bridge Street, proved extremely popular as youngsters got a taste of skills training and cycle racing with British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme.

Others meanwhile took their cycling to the extreme on the ever-popular air bag jump.

In total, 4,000 cyclists turned out to the annual event on Saturday 19th September, with the event set to return once again next year.

In the meantime, there are lots of Sky Ride Local and Breeze women-only guided rides planned for locals to take part in, as well as plenty of opportunities to ride together and discover more with Ride Social too – all of which is completely free.

The next and final Sky Ride big bike event is in Coventry on 27th September.

CYCLE: Families from across the local area headed down to the city centre to join in the Sky Ride event

CYCLE: Families from across the local area headed down to the city centre to join in the Sky Ride event

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‘Constructing’ a future for refugees: Empowering Communities call on fundraisers to join Snowdon challenge

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CLIMB: Fundraisers for Empowering Communities will scale Wales’ highest peak next month and you are invited to join them

CLIMB: Fundraisers for Empowering Communities will scale Wales’ highest peak next month and you are invited to join them

This week saw World Peace Day on 21st September. With wars raging around the world, the current refugee crisis means we now have the largest number of refugees since WW2, approaching a staggering 60 million globally, and most of them are children.

Everybody wants to help those who have fled their war-torn homes in search of a safer place to raise their families and build their future.

A refugee may have been a doctor, engineer or teacher in his home country before war drove them out and into the camps you see all through the media today.

They had no choice but to leave everything behind and escape with little more than their own lives. This means that they just need a chance to rebuild their own lives and once again give their children the brighter future they had dreamed of.

Rising from the ashes of these difficult times has been one beacon of hope which has transformed the lives of many families in the third world.

Bringing hope, building a future and supporting them every step of the way, Empowering Communities has a unique approach to tackling these difficult situations for refugees, homeless and impoverished people throughout.

With construction underway on yet another refugee shelter, their third housing project which was jump started by the staggering £9,100 raised on 5th September through sponsorships for the Mt Snowdon climb, Empowering Communities are focused more than ever to helping ease the refugees’ struggle.

Empowering Communities is aiming to raise money for the completion and operation of this shelter so that not only can a roof be built over the heads of those who had their homes bombed and neighbourhoods destroyed, but to work on their amazing core mission.

Helping with accommodation is only the beginning, they also aim to provide employment assistance so people can find jobs in a field they are familiar with or get trained to work in a new field.

They will also be providing free medical care to the families so that things like hospital and medical bills are not another obstacle to empowerment.

All of these elements combined will lead to these refugees being able to regain their status in life and stop depending on the help of others in order to survive - eventually settling permanently in their newfound home or one day returning to their native country and picking up the pieces to rebuild again.

Empowering Communities are always looking for help towards this cause and you too can join in now and help with the Snowdon Challenge.

Just raise a sponsorship of £100 and tag along on the 10th October 2015 to climb Wales’ highest peak.

“A small taste of what the refugees have been through should perhaps open our hearts in solidarity with our fellow humans who want a life just like yours and mine, but have instead been forced to face the elements and travel thousands of miles to find safety.”

You can call the office on 01274 502 750 or email at info@empoweringcommunities.org to sign up.

Take part in the Empowering Communities Snowdon challenge and make a difference for a refugee family today.

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Winter runners

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RUNNERS: Around 30 people took part in the challenging 10km run last week in aid of the Islamic Relief charity

RUNNERS: Around 30 people took part in the challenging 10km run last week in aid of the Islamic Relief charity

Fundraisers defeat the elements to conquer 10km challenge

A group of fundraisers, aged from six to seventy-six-years-old, battled wind, rain and snow last weekend to complete the 10km challenge from Halifax to Bradford.

Raising funds for the Islamic Relief charity, the group gathered in Halifax town centre on Sunday morning before running up the daunting ‘Queensbury Mountain’ and into the neighbouring city.

31-year-old Arfan Mir, who has organised the event for the past two years, said it was a great day, ‘despite the weather’ and was confident of reaching the £5,000 target.

Amongst those who completed the run was Arfan’s grandfather, running for a second time following last year’s event, alongside children still in primary school.

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“Sunday was a big success with around 30 people, of all ages, coming down to complete the challenge,” Arfan said.

“The Yorkshire weather may have thrown everything it had at us yet we conquered it and everybody who took part can be proud of themselves.

“We even defeated the ‘Queensbury Mountain’ in wind and rain and made it to Bradford, all for a great cause.”

To make the challenge even more testing, Arfan completed the run this year with an added 30kg weight on his back.

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He added: “At times I felt I needed to stop when the straps were digging into my shoulders and the rain was just adding to the weight of the bag on my back.

“The thing that kept me going was knowing that we were raising money for people who really need it and face much more difficult challenges than this on a daily basis.

“I have heard stories of what people come up against in some of the world’s poorest areas so I knew I could complete this run.”

After finishing, every runner was awarded a medal from the charity as they gathered in Centenary Square.

A local cafe owner even opened up his shop to cater for the drenched fundraisers, where cake and hot beverages were served up free of charge.

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Warm Winter Run

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CHALLENGE: A group of volunteers who completed the run last year will be returning to do it again for Islamic Relief’s Warm Winter appeal

CHALLENGE: A group of volunteers who completed the run last year will be returning to do it again for Islamic Relief’s Warm Winter appeal

Walk, run or cycle for those in need

A Halifax man is taking his own fundraising challenge to the next level this year as he completes a testing run from his hometown to Bradford with 30kg on his back, and he wants you to join him.

DETERMINED: Arfan Mir has organised the event for a second year and hopes to make it an annual occurrence

DETERMINED: Arfan Mir has organised the event for a second year and hopes to make it an annual occurrence

31-year-old Arfan Mir organised a similar event last year which saw dozens of people come together to run the 10km distance in aid of the Islamic Relief charity.

On Sunday 22nd February, the event returns for a second time, and with attendance expected to improve majorly this year, the fundraising total of 2014, £5,000, is hoped to be exceeded.

Participants are invited to run, walk or cycle the distance, with no entry fee required. Instead, people are asked to raise what they can prior to the event and donate either on the day or following the race completion.

Mr Mir, who is a business owner by day, explained why he wanted to stage the event again this month, and how it would be one which all ages and abilities can take part in.

“Following last year’s run, we were always going to do this event again and it’s great to welcome cyclists to join us this time around as well,” he said.

“The more people who do the challenge, the more money we will hopefully raise for Islamic Relief’s Warm Winter appeal.

“Last year my granddad even completed the run and he is in his seventies so that shows this event is really inclusive for everyone.”

Explaining more about the cause, he added: “To think there are children in some of the most deprived areas of the world, running around outside without any shoes on in the cold, puts it all into perspective.

“We complain when it is a bit cold out and have to do a run to the car, but this run will be helping those who really need help this winter.”

The event begins at 10am in Halifax Town Centre – opposite Boots, with the finish line marked in Bradford’s Centenary Square.

If you would like to sign up to the race, or just find out more information, please contact Islamic Relief or Arfan directly on 07772 502 543.

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2313 in 2014 CONQUERED

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Naheem with medals

FINISHED: Naheem’s challenge has involved a number of runs up and down the country, with the Lancashire Half-Marathon last weekend signalling the end of his journey

Leeds fundraiser finishes UK to Syria challenge

After 365 days of exhaustive running and cycling, Naheem Yacub has finally completed his ‘2,313 miles in 2014’ challenge.

Setting himself the target of completing the distance, the equivalent of travelling from the UK to Syria, in aid of charity, the fundraiser from Leeds finally reached his target last weekend at the Lancashire half-marathon.

Battling through the final 13 miles, with his injured ankle, the part-time barber, part-time supply teacher, has run marathons, half-marathons, 10ks and even cycled the length of the country on his way to the goal.

Speaking about finally reaching his target after 12 months of continuous effort, Naheem said: “When I crossed the finish line there was just this huge sense of relief that it was all finally over. I just sat on the ground and couldn’t quite believe it.

“It is a bit strange on a morning now when I wake up and I don’t have to think, ‘it’s time to go on a run’, so I am enjoying that side of it.
“To know I was able to raise so much money and awareness from the initiative as well certainly makes it all worthwhile at the end of the day as it will help two very important causes.”

The two aforementioned causes chosen for the challenge are the Leeds Children’s Hospital and British Red Cross’ Syria Crisis Appeal with almost £5,000 raised to date to be shared between the pair.

Naheem had initially planned on completing the total distance on foot with only one leg of cycling – from Lands End to John O’Groats – on his way to the 2,313 target.

However, after injuring his ankle, he was forced onto the bike saddle more often towards the end of the challenge, but made sure he still completed his last leg in his running shoes.

“To have completed it all now and to have finished the final leg back in Lancashire where I first began the challenge in January 2014, just all seems so surreal,” he said.

“It was very painful on my ankle at times and I should have really gone to the doctors but I know they would have just said ‘rest it’ and I just didn’t have the time to do that. Maybe I do now.”

Asked whether he will be completing the return 2,313 miles any time soon, Naheem added that he was not sure that he had another year’s worth of dedicated running in the tank at the moment but is still fundraising over the next few weeks.

“We have a couple of bucket collections arranged for this month and I will be donating a full day’s takings from the barbers at the start of February,” he said. “Hopefully these extra funds will take us past our next milestone.”
He added: “I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has donated because it wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

If you would like to sponsor Naheem you can still do so by visiting his fundraising page at uk.virginmoneygiving.com.

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