Spring into action and support refugees with the launch of the Bristol Half Marathon

Last updated March 4, 2015Press release

Spring into action and support refugees with Refugee Action at the official launch of the 2015 Bristol Half Marathon today, 4 March.

People of Bristol and beyond will be warming up with a mass fitness session on Bristol Harbourside to celebrate wellbeing and health, and kick off the city’s biggest sporting event.

At Refugee Action we know the importance of health and fitness for people who have fled their homes, are a long way from their family and friends and have little to no financial or emotional support. This leaves people vulnerable to mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.

Nima, from Iran, describes the crippling helplessness he felt waiting for an asylum decision. “I’ve been through a very rough time last year,” he says. “It made me quite depressed and anxious.” But after joining Refugee Action’s Wellbeing Project, which helps asylum seekers and refugees gain access to wellbeing activities and support, Nima started to imagine a life worth living again: “Being active helps me deal with everything” he says.

Last year, Nima ran the Bristol Half Marathon with Refugee Action, “It made me realise there is a world with lovely people out there out of my room. People who help each other, run together and motivate themselves to go for even longer distance.”

Now in its 27th year, the Bristol Half Marathon on Sunday 13 September is the region’s leading road race, covering 13-miles, attracting up to 15,000 runners and raising thousands of pounds for charity. Online entries are now open.

Official Bristol Half Marathon charity Refugee Action will be joined by St Peter’s Hospice and Penny Brohn Cancer Care for a warm-up session in Anchor Square at 11am today. The session will be led by Sharon Layton, of Bristol City Council’s sports centre team Everyone Active.

Stephen Hale, Chief Executive of Refugee Action said:

“We’re really excited to be a part of the Bristol Half Marathon again this year. It was fantastic to see the city full of people running for refugees last year and we hope this year will be even bigger and better.

“Our 20 year presence in Bristol, a celebrated city of sanctuary for people seeking safety, means we help people who have fled their homes, and are a long way from their family and friends, to live again.”

Join Refugee Action and celebrate the launch of one of Bristol’s most popular sporting occasions.

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