Our 7th Annual Walk For Justice was fantastic: local groups from across Leeds and Bradford joined together to take a stand against the injustices in the asylum system and raise vital funds for BEACON. Over 25 people walked the 10 mile route from Bradford to Leeds and so far over £600 has been raised with more promised. If you would like to donate to the walk it’s not too late! You can do so online here or send a cheque to 32 Merton Road, BD7 1RE payable to ‘BEACON’.
We were blessed with fine weather as we gathered at Centenary Square where the Bishop Toby Howarth of Bradford addressed the walkers, speaking heartfelt words about the great history of Bradford as a place of sanctuary and welcome and leading a prayer. The Lord Mayor of Bradford Geoff Reid, f
ounder of BEACON, also shared his thoughts on the vital work of BEACON and paid tribute to the late Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen. Her recent brutal killing had sent shock waves through the community whilst her dedication to the rights of refugees was celebrated and brings hope to those who continue to work in the field.
There was also a wonderful chance encounter with a young man who stopped at our gathering and told his story: having arrived as a young person from Afghanistan he paid tribute to all those who had supported him and to Bradford where he is now completing a vocational training course. We were also thrilled to be joined by a team from Lifeline Bradford who were keen to support the work of BEACON and were present in many successful refugee events. Our first stop was at Bradford Cathedral where we were welcomed with a prayer from Canon Mandy and good wishes before making the difficult climb up Barkerend Road to Thornbury.
En route we had the chance to raise awareness of the issues facing asylum seekers by distributing postcards about the walk to passers-by and raised some funds by bucket shaking along the way. A tribute must be paid to our youngest walkers ages 1 and 4 and their amazing mum who completed the whole walk navigating some rocky terrain, buggy and all! We shared a group picnic at Rodley and the good weather stayed with us all the way to Leeds where the wonderful City of Sanctuary team and our own volunteers Awais and Rev. Dominic met us with refreshments and a warm welcome.
The next BEACON event will be our AGM, Tuesday 25th November 6pm-8pm at the Delius centre – all are welcome to enjoy a free meal and find out about the work of BEACON over the last year.
A big thank you to everyone who took part and made it such a successful event – keep an eye out for our plans for next year!