After nearly four months of churches being closed, Preston parishioners decided to hold a socially distanced sporting event to bring the community together while also raising much-needed funds for the global coronavirus response.
For the event, over 40 parishioners from across Preston and beyond, either walked, ran, or cycled, five kilometres, in aid of the international development charity CAFOD’s Coronavirus Appeal.
Each participant chose an individual route and time to complete the challenge – to ensure that social distancing was maintained throughout.
Peter Towers, a parishioner at Saint Anthony’s parish in Preston, who helped organise the event, said: “Throughout the day our Facebook group was buzzing with photos and reports of people’s achievements. Individuals and families, school staff, and a church music group took part.
“As well as raising money, the event has created a CAFOD community focus in difficult times.”
The event was a massive success, raising over £4,600 for charity CAFOD, which is currently scaling up its support to local aid experts in developing countries to combat the impact of the coronavirus.
Local experts working in communities hardest hit by the spread of the virus are already on the frontline, reaching vulnerable families providing food, as well as improving handwashing and sanitation facilities across communities.
Peter continued: “So far, 185 people have donated to our challenge, helping us to raise £4,660 on our just giving page alone!
“It is good to know that CAFOD will use the money wisely to help people in hard-to-reach places.”
This event is part of CAFOD’s Summer of Hope. The campaign aims to inspire the nation to remain hopeful this summer through recreating cancelled events, virtually – while also supporting communities in developing countries through fundraising.
CAFOD’s representative in Preston, Patrick Gardner, said: “I would like to say a massive thank you and congratulations to the Preston runners and walkers for their amazing efforts! The money they raised will go towards supporting some of the world’s poorest communities who need our help to fight this deadly virus.”
Find out how you can organise your own event at cafod.org.uk/SummerofHope
Picture: Two Preston parishioners at the family fun run. (CAFOD).