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The DARED challenge

Posted: 2nd June 2020

A unique challenge event designed by school staff to support vulnerable children across Edinburgh and the Lothians is back for 2020.

DARED is fundraising event that inspires school staff and individuals from across Edinburgh and the Lothians to lace up their running shoes in support of a leading children’s charity.

So far 152 staff from over 30 schools as well as 20 large and small businesses have signed up to take part. With several days left to sign up we are already prepared to beat last years number of runners (154).

The DARED Challenge – Do A Run Every Day – encourages participants to complete either a 1 mile or 5km run every day throughout the month of June.

Devised in 2018 by Broughton High maths teacher, and keen runner, Mark Fletcher, the DARED Challenge has continued to grow and last year saw more than 150 school staff from across Edinburgh and further afield raise more than £14,000 for the charity.

This year, as well as again looking to school staff from across the region to support the event, Mark and his organising team are appealing for members of the public to get involved. Circle’s patrons, David Tennant and Arabella Weir, will be joining the campaign to recruit participants in the coming months. David Tennant’s previous video statement can be seen here –

Alongside the fundraising element, the aim of the challenge is to encourage as many people as possible to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of daily exercise, as well as spending time with colleagues away from the desk and work. The choice of different distances enables both experienced and beginner runners to feel included and challenged.

Although the premise of the event was built on getting school staff and teachers exercising regularly, organiser Mark hopes that the health benefits that arise as a result of this type of challenge will inspire anyone – not just teachers – to get involved.

He said: “Incorporating exercise into our daily lives has countless benefits to our physical and mental health. If we can do this while raising money for an extremely deserving cause, everyone’s a winner.”

Funds raised through the DARED Challenge will go directly to supporting Circle in its aim of improving the lives of children by strengthening families. The charity works at the heart of deprived communities across central Scotland, supporting the most disadvantaged children and families to improve their lives, promote their healthy development and reach their potential.

Participation in the DARED Challenge will help strengthen the charity’s family outreach work, help children and their families communicate, repair relationships and develop skills that enable them to lead more fulfilling lives.

Social inequality and poverty are the root cause of why families seek support from Circle including parental substance misuse, domestic abuse, imprisonment, poor physical and mental health as well as isolation.

Many pupils in participating schools are supported by Circle so this event is also a demonstration of how the impact of our work is appreciated by those professionals who witness it on a day-to-day basis.

Mark Kennedy, Chief Executive of Circle, said: “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who is taking part in The DARED Challenge as their dedication, passion and enthusiasm will directly enable Circle to continue our vital work supporting vulnerable children and families in Edinburgh and beyond.”

Entry for the DARED Challenge is now open with participants able to choose to run one mile or 5km a day in June. Participation costs £10 per person. Participants are asked to fundraise a minimum of £50. Participants who do not wish to fundraise can pay an additional £20 to secure their position on the challenge.

Full details can be found here.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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