“I’m a big fan of the essential work Action Foundation does in reaching out to those at the sharp end of the British border system. It matters a lot to me that refugees and asylum seekers can find a warm welcome in the North East.” – So says Peter Mitchell who is one of our ‘repeat runners’ in this year’s Great North Run. Find out more about the people who love our charity so much, they return year-on-year. Just click on their names if you’d like to sponsor them! 

It’s less than two weeks to the Great North Run now and we’re delighted to have several runners on our 21-strong team who have run in support of Action Foundation before and love it so much that they keep coming back for more!

Former staff member, Celia Bouch (aka ‘the Mighty Bouch’), who ran for us last year, has set up her own six-runner group for this year’s GNR, comprising her brothers – twins, Patrick and Freddie; her boyfriend, Adam Wood and friends, Adam Gildea and Bryn de Ivey.  Celia said:

“This will be my sixth Great North Run and my second one running for Action Foundation.

“Last year I was pleased to have a university friend, Adam Gildea, and one half of my twin brothers, Patrick, run in the orange vests too.

“This year the other twin, Freddie, and a friend from Newcastle, Bryn, are also running alongside me for Action Foundation, both in their first Great North Run.”

Celia, who now lives and works in London, joined Action Foundation as a Drop-in Coordinator with our InterAction team after graduating from university. She recalls:

“I had the absolute privilege of working at Action Foundation for a year and I valued my time with the charity so much. I was primarily doing casework, including hotel outreach and some Spanish and Portuguese interpreting too. I learned loads, met some wonderful people and enjoyed the environment greatly.”

She said she was ‘super excited’ for this year’s Great North Run on Sunday September 10th.

“Part of why I love the Great North Run is having so many people I know also taking part. This year my boyfriend, Adam, has helped me with my fundraising and is running his third Great North Run.

“The Great North Run is inclusive, joyful and always powerful, it is truly one of my favourite days of the year. I feel incredibly proud to be from the region which hosts one of the largest mass participation runs in the world, and does it so well. The atmosphere is unmatched and I cannot describe how special it is when you hear Local Hero playing on the start line.”

“Working at Action Foundation taught me that even the smallest of gestures can be so powerful when people are navigating the brutal asylum system in the UK. I’ve seen how projects such as InterAction Drop-in can help people to feel valued and supported, through what can seem the simplest of acts such as finding school uniform for their children, booking a medical appointment or translating a letter.

“Now that I no longer work for Action Foundation, running the Great North Run in their orange vest allows me to continue to spread the word about their incredible work. Action Foundation does so much for refugees and asylum seekers in the region and I love that running for the charity helps projects to continue empowering displaced people now finding a home in the North East.”

“I think the Great North Run is an excellent opportunity to support charities from the region and I am always proud of how charities such as Action Foundation play a huge role in the North East welcoming migrants amid an increasingly hostile climate.”

Meanwhile, we’re so grateful to freelance writer and researcher, Peter Mitchell, who is running in aid of Action Foundation for the fourth consecutive year (we’re including the GNR Solo from 2020). He said:

“I’m a big fan of the essential work Action Foundation do in reaching out to those at the sharp end of the British border system. It matters a lot to me that refugees and asylum seekers can find a warm welcome in the North East.”

And Ross Gordon is running the GNR for the fourth time in succession too this September and this time he’ll be accompanied by fiancee Abi Walker who has written here about her experience of doing her first half-marathon. Ross said:

“It’s always been a great experience running for Action Foundation and I’m looking forward to this year’s event, especially since Abi will be joining me on the start line this time round.”

Main picture caption, clockwise from top left: Celia, Adam Wood and Patrick; Ross and Abi; Adam Gildea and Peter Mitchell.