The regional Christian Aid Office sent us this press release with the usual request for publicity. We were all the more delighted to share it when we discovered that it was about one of our own church members. We’ve kept the text, just as we received it. Keep running, and good luck, Margaret!
Margaret Johnson was born in 1945, the year that Christian Aid was founded, into a world recovering from the devastation of six years of war. 70 years on, Christian Aid is still making strides in the vital work to eradicate global poverty. And, to mark her 70th birthday, Margaret has signed up to join Christian Aid’s 70th anniversary Great North Run team, aiming recruit 70 supporters to raise over £20,000 to support the charity’s life-saving work.
Margaret, who is Christian Aid’s representative at St George’s United Reformed Church, Morpeth, last took part in the iconic Newcastle to South Shields half marathon 10 years ago. ‘Christian Aid is my first choice charity’, she explained ‘they don’t just give hand-outs, but enable people to develop their own lives for themselves’.
‘This seems like a very fitting way to mark my 70th birthday’ she related. ‘I feel very blessed to still have my physical fitness and would like to celebrate by raising money for those who haven’t had the opportunities I’ve had throughout my life. Being born in England just after WW2, I’ve benefitted from free education and medical care and so much more that we tend to take for granted.’
Margaret keeps fit playing badminton three times a week at church and is looking forward to training for her half marathon in September. She started training at the beginning of February and intends to build up the mileage gradually: ‘I hate sitting indoors when the Sun is shining; getting outside makes me feel so much better’.
Christian Aid North East has set themselves the challenge of doubling the number of 2014 runners from 35 to 70 for this, their 70th year, doubling the money raised to help those most in need around the world. Their target of £20,000 could pay for the excavation of a small reservoir in Kenya to provide a whole community with water for drinking, cooking and agriculture. Could you or a friend or relative join us for the world’s biggest half marathon and run 13.1 miles to help us in our mission to eradicate poverty?
If you would like to join Margaret and the Christian Aid team or you already have your own place for the event and would like to join our team, please sign up online at www.christianaid.org.uk/events or call us on 0191 228 0115.
Great North Run
Date: 13 September 2015
Location: Newcastle to South Shields
Registration fee: £35
Minimum sponsorship: £300
Christian Aid: living faith, inspiring hope, and showing love…for 70 years
Here are just some of our proudest achievements from the last seven decades:
1940s Helping those left destitute by the devastation of the Second World War.
1950s Supporting refugees worldwide and raising awareness of global need.
1960s Providing vital emergency relief and pushing for peace during the Vietnam war.
1970s Assisting 500,000 slum dwellers in Calcutta to have clean water, sanitation and primary education.
1980s Issuing emergency appeal for Ethiopia raising £1.35 million and campaigning to end apartheid.
1990s Helping establish the Fairtrade Foundation and successfully calling for western governments to drop $130bn of debt owed by poor countries.
2000s Reaching more than half a million people after the Indian Ocean tsunami.
2010s Helping 953,500 Africans to adopt preventive health practices and get the medical treatment they need.