Get your running shoes on for Scottish Refugee Council! c.Photosani/ Fotolia

Among the toiling runners taking part in next month’s Great Scottish Run will be two very special athletes.

Vanessa Miller and Mark Rafferty are both breaking a sweat in aid of Scottish Refugee Council. The funds they raise on September 4 will help us to help refugees and people seeking asylum in Scotland.

We’re super excited to see how both Vanessa and Mark will get on. It’s wonderful to hear that they want to ensure Scotland is truly a place of welcome and support for those who have fled war and persecution.

Running to help refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland

Their efforts will help people like Shah, who fled Afghanistan as a teenager after most of his family were killed. With our help, he began studying English at Glasgow Central College and found his way through the complex and stressful asylum system.

Or Ana, a single mother for whom each new day is a struggle to survive with no cash, and the constant threat of being sent back to the danger she fled. As she awaits the results of her claim, she hopes and prays she will be allowed to create a future in safety for her children.

You can read more stories of the people who need our help on our Refugee Stories section.

Why support and information is crucial for refugees

We’ve asked one of our runners Vanessa to tell us why she decided to run for refugees in Scotland. As a Canadian by birth, Vanessa says she’s more aware than most of the challenges of rebuilding a life in a new country.

‘I came to Glasgow from Canada right after I turned 20,’ she says.  ‘I wanted to help raise money for a charity that was helping people who are so often coming from terrible circumstances to start their new lives in this beautiful, friendly country that I’ve called home for the last seven years.

‘I think refugees and people seeking asylum need access to as much support and information as possible.  I’m also so impressed with the work and campaigning the Scottish Refugee Council has done to bring public awareness to the issues concerning those seeking refuge.’

Gearing up for the Great Scottish Run

Vanessa will be keeping us posted with her training and hopes to complete the Great Scottish Run 10k on September 4 in under 60 minutes. We’ll also be hearing more from Mark, whose training is going well – and is on course for completing the half marathon the same day.

Check out Vanessa’s sponsorship page

Take a look at Mark’s sponsorship page

Find out more about how you can run for Scottish Refugee Council

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Chris Pettigrew
Author: Chris Pettigrew