Newman students at the Great Manchester Run

A team of 18 sixth form students and 5 staff members from Cardinal Newman College, Preston, will be running the 10k Great Manchester Run on Sunday 20 May for CAFOD.

Some of the Newman student runners with Ellie Turner, the CAFOD group leader (far left)

The group have been inspired to raise money for water programmes by CAFOD’s Thirst for Change campaign. The campaign, which runs until 15 May, has encouraged CAFOD supporters across England and wales to show their solidarity for the near billion people around the world living without access to clean water. The Cardinal Newman College team hope to raise an impressive £2,500.

As well as holding a fashion show on World Water Day to draw attention to the Thirst for Change Campaign, students have been filling out campaign cards asking David Cameron to call on world leaders at the G8 summit this month to turn the tide on water poverty.

Ellie Turner, Geography teacher and leader of the CAFOD group at Cardinal Newman College said: “The shocking fact that every 20 seconds a child dies due to lack of access to clean water, or that some children do not attend school because of poor sanitation, really hit a nerve with the students, and their passion for the campaign has been shared with the rest of the college community; inspiring school groups, fellow students and teachers about the Thirst for Change campaign. They are taking this one step further by donning their running shoes, specifically aiming for money raised to go to water projects. They really have become a force for change!”

CAFOD’s Lancaster manager, Rosa Trelfa said: “Water is life, it is as simple as that. Without it we cannot survive. By running the Great Manchester Run these young people are standing side by side with the poorest people in the world to call for an end to water poverty. 1.7 mllion deaths each year are caused by poor water, sanitation and hygiene – more than from all forms of violence, including war.

“I do hope that everyone  rallies round to support these students – some are serious runners and are aiming for a fast time, whilst others have taken up this challenge of running 10k from scratch.  I admire their spirit in actually doing something about the issue – they all want to make a difference and the monies they raise will certainly do that – and that’s aside from the superb awareness raising they’ve been doing sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm widely.  They’re an inspiration!”

Staff runners together with students

Since February, CAFOD supporters across England and Wales have been working to raise awareness of the 783 million people around the world without access to clean water. The Government responded on 20 April by announcing a doubling of its support for water and sanitation projects, designed to help 60 million more people gain access to clean water and sanitation by 2015.

Secretary of state for International Development Andrew Mitchell said: “For too long, water and sanitation has not received the priority it deserves from the international community. But we know that without clean water supplies and proper sanitation, we will never help developing countries stand independently and thrive.”

You can support the team by sponsoring them through their Just Giving page at http://www.justgiving.com/team-newman

Thank you for your encouragement and support!

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