On 27 December, nearly 400 people came together for the 33rd Annual CAFOD Liverpool
Fun Run in support of CAFOD’s Ethiopia Food Crisis Appeal.
The run, which took place at Wavertree Park, was opened by Liverpool writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce who started the runners, families, walkers and their dogs on their way! Everyone got around the course safely, with the help of St Julie’s High School Team who came to support the event with their Chaplain Mike Anderson.
It was a fantastic team effort well organised by a new Volunteer Committee shaping things for the future, bringing in new participants and ideas and wonderful photographs from Anna Watkin. There was also a selection of stalls, face painting and a raffle. The runners were cheered by the fantastic Rioters Jazz Band and a Fancy Dress competition added to the fantastic festive spirit!
Longstanding supporter BBC Merseyside’s Roger Lyon attended the race to offer his support: “It’s a real fun event which I’ve done several times and always enjoyed it. There are so many parts of the world that have difficulties at the moment.”
In 2014, runners fundraised for Sierra Leone’s Ebola Crisis appeal and this year, Kayode Akintola, CAFOD’s representative in Sierra Leone, journeyed to the race to thank the runners for their fantastic support. He said: “Sierra Leone has officially been free of the Ebola virus for over a year and I would like to say thank you to everyone, and especially the people of Liverpool, who have fundraised to help fund these programmes.”
The CAFOD Liverpool Fun Runs have so far raised over £458,000 for the international development charity supporting its work with overseas partners around the world. Last year, the Fun Run raised an amazing £11,100 for CAFOD’s Refugee Appeal and with the increased turnout, it is possible that the funds raised will exceed even that.
This year, the race was fundraising for CAFOD’s Ethiopia Food Crisis appeal,
where over ten million people in Ethiopia have been affected by a drought caused by two failed rainy seasons due to climate change. The extreme weather has meant that crops have failed, families are struggling to keep their animals alive and the UK estimates 400,000 children are suffering from malnutrition.
Fr Mike Fitzsimons, a member of CAFOD’s Campaign Advisory Group who has taken part in the race many times, and whose parish in Widnes is currently supporting CAFOD’s partner in Ethiopia, said: “It is an impressive turnout and a great expression of support for those who need our help.” Fr Mike hopes to visit Ethiopia later this year and to report back on the progress of efforts to address the Food Crisis there at next year’s Fun Run. Now is the time to collect in your sponsorship, folks!