Charity staff to run for Syrian refugee appeal

Staff from a Wakefield charity will be running for funds when they take on a 10k with a difference to help Syrian refugees.

Copywriter Gemma Rathbone and marketing officer Hazel Normandale from Penny Appeal’s marketing and communications team will compete in the Bradford City Run - all while carrying a backpack containing the items they would take with them if they had to flee their homes.

They will join 36 other runners from Team Orange - the charity’s fundraising family - who are collecting for Penny Appeal’s Syrian Refugee Emergency campaign.

Ms Rathbone said:, “We’re both fairly active, often running, cycling or rock climbing, but this race is more about the emotional challenge than the physical one. 

“Each of us will be carrying a backpack containing the essential and sentimental items we’d take if we had to leave home in a hurry. We only have to cover six miles, but every step of the way we’ll be thinking of the thousands of refugees who are making their incredibly difficult journeys towards safer lives.” 

The pair will be carrying items such as mobile phones and chargers, a tin opener, a hard drive containing family photos, favourite books, a childhood teddy bear, personal mementoes and hygiene items.

Ms Normandale said: “Training has been very hit-and-miss, but that will only serve to give us a greater appreciation of what it’s like to have to walk for miles with no supplies or preparation. We’ve been doing so much at our desks in the past few weeks to support our Syrian Refugee Emergency campaign, so now it’s time to do something more practical.”

Visit to donate to the duo’s fundraising efforts.