Last Sunday, RSC Director, Alexander Betts, ran the London Marathon in support of Oxford-based charity Asylum Welcome, raising over £2500.
Alex was competing for Oxford University’s marathon team at London, which also serves as the annual Oxford-Cambridge Varsity Marathon, but decided to also use the occasion as a fundraising opportunity.
Alex said: “It was a great way to build a connection between the University and the community. The Refugee Studies Centre is a leading research centre on refugee issues but it’s also important we recognise that there are refugees in Oxford, and incredible organisations like Asylum Welcome doing work on their behalf.”
Asylum Welcome works with refugees and asylum seekers in the local community. They provide support for unaccompanied refugee children, they run a food bank, they teach people English, they work closely with lawyers to support access to rights, and they support refugee voices, campaigning against the expansion of government detention practices.
Alex explained, “with the General Election on the horizon and the refugee emergency in the Mediterranean, asylum and refugee issues are in the news a lot at the moment. It’s important that people understand why refugees are here - the difficult circumstances from which they are fleeing from countries like Syria - and the ways we can help locally.”
It was a successful day all round, with Alex reaching all three of his targets: raising over £2500 for Oxford-based Asylum Welcome, running a personal best time of 2:45, and winning the Oxford-Cambridge Varsity Marathon race. “I was delighted with the time and it was great to beat Cambridge, but the most important thing was to be able to support the work of Asylum Welcome.”
The JustGiving page is available at: https://www.justgiving.com/Alexander-Betts