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On the 15 July, a team of All We Can supporters and staff will be taking to the streets of London for the Virgin Sport British 10k. This race takes in some of London’s most iconic landmarks, and has a real party atmosphere with live music at every kilometer – what better way to raise money for people living in some of the world’s poorest communities?
We caught up with Rachel Lampard, former Vice-President of the Methodist Conference and one of this year’s wonderful runners, to see what has inspired her to take part and how her early morning training sessions are going.
I was always told I wasn’t a runner. I had pneumonia as a child and wasn’t allowed to do cross-country running. As a result I always thought I couldn’t run. But a few years ago I tried the NHS Couch-to-5K and discovered I could! A year ago, when I was Vice-President of the Conference, Tim Baker (one of All We Can’s Churches and Volunteers Officers) challenged me to run 10K for All We Can, a charity I’ve long supported, but I couldn’t find time to fit in the training. This year….I had no excuse!
Lots of reasons. I’ve supported All We Can for many years now. I work for the Methodist Church as Team Leader of the Joint Public Issues Team, helping Churches to work on issues of justice and peace. I’ve worked with All We Can on shared concerns around refugees and climate change. But two years ago I had a very different experience. I travelled with All We Can and Revd Roger Walton, who was President of Conference when I was Vice-President, to Jordan. There we saw just some of the work that All We Can were supporting to help Syrian refugees. We visited children’s centres, women’s health groups, and families with tiny babies. I saw the impact that the work of All We Can is having on the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in that country. I also saw how the partnership with All We Can is valued by local organisations on the ground. I know that the money All We Can raises makes a difference. That’s why I’m willing to put myself through the pain of the training!
I’m being very organised. I have a schedule of the different stretches, workouts and runs I need to do each week. But it’s very hard work, and doesn’t come naturally! Because of my work and my children, it’s quite hard to fit it all in. So, you will usually find me pounding the pavements of Walthamstow where I live at 4.30am….
We live in a world of deep inequality and injustice which means that many people in our world struggle to survive, let alone thrive. As a Christian believing that everyone is made in God’s image, this is not something that we can just accept. We read in the Bible of God’s frequent injunctions to take care of the poor, the widow, the orphan, the most vulnerable, and this is something we see in the life and words of Jesus too. So I believe that as Christians we are called to do all we can to enable the poorest to experience life in all its fullness, both through providing direct help to communities and through challenging the injustices which keep people in poverty.
I can’t say that training is fun, but it’s great to have a challenging goal, and to know that I’m raising money for something I really believe in!
If you’ve been inspired by Rachel’s story, why not visit her sponsorship page?
Places are now fully booked for this year’s Virgin Sport 10k, but if you’d like to take on a challenge to help end the suffering caused by inequality and injustice, then we would love to hear from you. Take a look at our fundraising resources, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more support.
Laura works for All We Can as the Communications Manager. She is also an internationally acclaimed photographer with a passion for women's rights. She is studying MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies in her spare time and lives with her husband Stephen in Essex.