Great North Run: Now recruiting for 2012
Final week to apply for places!
The team organised by Jubilee Debt Campaign at Newcastle University has been warmly praised by the national agencies which it supports. Oxfam’s Claire Arthur, for example, states that, "On behalf of everyone at Oxfam, our heartfelt thanks for all of your admirable campaigning and fundraising efforts... Your Great North Run initiative is fantastic".
Part of the 2011 team, before the race.
Dr David Golding CBE, a founder member of the national board of JDC and an Associate of NIReS, says: “We did really well last year, despite the inauspicious conditions for fundraising. We recruited our biggest team ever, helped by the generous support of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chris Brink, who stated, "This Great North Run initiative does valuable work and is a credit to our institution. I commend it". Similarly, Professor Sir George Alberti described it as, "The sort of intelligently compassionate response I applaud".
The team raised nearly £15,700, bringing its ‘running total’ (!) to over £127,000. Half the money goes to JDC and half to support the fight against HIV/AIDS and the care of AIDS orphans – each runner chooses which aid agency should benefit. In addition, generous concessions were provided for students using resources provided by members of staff, with a total of £1,147 being paid out in rebates for entry fees.
Dr Golding with Diana Hudson, JDC board member, Ella Ritchie, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Newcastle University and Ben Simms, Director of the UK Consortium on AIDS, who came to support the team.
Last September Dr Golding made his ‘first and last’ visit to Africa to see for himself the impact of debt relief. He says, “I was amazed at how perfectly our ‘package’ chimes with the needs there. I met a woman, “Agnes", in a remote village in Zambia, who's HIV-positive. Her husband and one daughter have died of AIDS, but she's doing quite well - at my request, she went into her little mud-brick hut with its grass roof and brought out her two pots of AVT (anti-AIDS) pills to show me.
“Charges at her local clinic were abolished in 2006 when Zambia got debt relief; her pills are free thanks to the Stop AIDS and Make Poverty History campaigns; and she's being helped to grow her own food by one of the aid agencies we support (Tearfund in this case) - unless she gets at least one nourishing meal a day, the drugs won’t help her. Agnes is one of seven million people (25 times as many as in 2001) now receiving AVT, whose children will not be left orphans in a cold and callous world!”
How to join the team
Campaign supporters are invited to enter the ballot, now open, for places in the Great North Run, "the most iconic half-marathon on the planet", and to join the team. David says, “You don't have to be an athlete - it's a 'run', not a 'race'. I did it in 2010 to celebrate my 70th!” For guidance and further information, please contact
Students at the Run's finish.