Dave's Fundraising Story

Volunteer Dave’s Dedication: Running to Empower Baca’s Young People

We all need help and support. Some of us much more than others.

I had entered a 10km race around the lovely Carsington Water in Derbyshire. I was running on behalf of Baca – a charity which provides homes, support and help for young refugees. 

I was in decent shape, but there was still a chunk of apprehension and nerves in my stomach as the day approached. Of course, I would have to run it myself. It would be my legs, my heart, my lungs and ultimately my energy and perseverance. I couldn’t really borrow anybody else’s.

But I did take full advantage of other people’s support, motivation and encouragement, before, during and after the race.

Leading up to the race, I had plenty of encouragement from friends and family.

From my sister - “What an important cause Dave - enjoy the run”.

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You're really helping them start onto their new path, so here's to your tailwind.

A friend

And from Martha at Baca ,“Thank you so much for the time, energy and effort you have put into the run. I hope that it's a beautiful day (but not too hot) and that you have a really enjoyable time!”

There was a very nice young man at the start of the race who took my registration details and wished me luck with a big smile. We had thumping, motivational music at the start, and lots of encouraging smiles from fellow runners. And so we set off, encouraged and energised by all those good wishes.

Marshals along the way shouted encouragement : “keep going” and “great running”.  My favourite one after 6km - “That’s the last big hill, just undulating from now on”.

I was 2km from home when an athletic young woman overtook me. This triggered my competitive edge. I managed to tracked her all the way back, which was such a help. It’s great to have someone to pace you. Even better that I managed to outsprint her in the final few hundred meters and beat her to the finish.

I thanked her and we laughed about it as we collected our medals. Lots of claps and cheers and “well dones” as I collapsed on the floor and drank the free bottle of water and brownie.

Ultimately, we all run our own race. But it’s so much more enjoyable to run with others. And so essential to have the support, encouragement and congratulations of people close to us and around us before, during and after.

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They are running their own race of life, and it can be an ultra-marathon, not a just quick 10km on a sunny afternoon.

Most of the young people we look after at Baca arrive here on their own. They have left family and friends behind and arrived in a strange and unfamiliar country with few possessions, and often little understanding of our language or culture. They are running their own race of life, and it can be an ultra-marathon, not a just quick 10km on a sunny afternoon.

They need a hundred times more support and help than I needed for that race. Somewhere to stay, integration into society, help with education and hopefully the ability to settle and work here. And loads of encouragement, care and reassurance.

As I ran, I thought about some of the young people I had the pleasure of talking with and working with. How my little effort might just help – not just the money - but hopefully reminding them that they have so many people on their side, caring for them and doing our best for them.

And I hope they realise how much they give back to us with their dedication, appreciation and smiling faces. And all of that motivates us more than anything.

If you've been inspired by Dave's story, check out our volunteering opportunities and events you can take part in below!