Lighting the Torch of Return

As our theme this year is Palestinian refugees, we wanted to highlight especially this year’s Nakba commemoration in Sheffield . You can read a short article about the Nakba here

Sheffield Palestine solidarity Campaign will be screening two films, on Friday May 13th at 7pm.

The first, Shooting the Messenger, is about how the Israeli state targets Palestinian journalists. Also showing is a film called Al Arakeeb, which gives an example of the Ongoing Nakba and details how the displacement of Palestinian people continues today.

After the films please join us in lighting The Torch of Return as symbol of solidarity with Palestinian people all over the world. This has been organised by Badil, a. refugee rights organisation based in Bethlehem, to affirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to return, self-determination, and
resist the Israeli colonial-Apartheid regime.

Qayis Healing Centre

The small park BIG RUN has been raising funds both for women’s education as well as also for children in Gaza to have professional help in order to recover from the trauma of war.

Thanks to all our supporters in small park BIG RUN and beyond, we have built the healing centre and it is now up and running.

Now we are looking to start a complementary mobile service to reach children around Khan Younis, and beyond, who cannot get to the healing centre.

You can find out more about developments here.

Back in the park -SIGN UPS NOW OPEN!

Throughout Covid we continued to hold small park BIG RUN, but in the format of a virtual/DIY event where people did activities wherever they felt safe – be that their home, garden, or outside. After a two year gap we are delighted that the small park BIG RUN (#spBR22) will take place, for real, in Meersbrook Park, Sheffield, noon-noon, 18-19 June 2022. There will also be music, singing, poetry, tea, coffee, cake, lantern making, exhibitions and more.

SIGN UP IS NOW OPEN! With three distinct ways to participate.

  1. Sign up to participate in the event – from 30 minutes to 24 hours (we have had people do 24 hours before!) on a circular route through Meersbrook Park.
  2. Sign up to the DIY event – over the last two years small parkBIG RUN hasn’t been held in the park but wherever people felt safe to do their own DIY activities. If you are unable to attend the physical event in the park you can stull participate however you like, in a place and at at time of your own choosing
  3. Sign up to volunteer to marshal. The event depends on an army of volunteers to ensure the welfare of he runners and other park users. We would be so grateful you can spare an hour.

THE EVENT #spBR22 is a 24-hour group community challenge from Saturday 18 June to Sunday 19 June – noon to noon. You choose the time and length you want to run, walk or jog around laps of Meersbrook Park. From 30 mins to 24 hours! At noon on Sunday there will be a free one lap Fun Run link up with friends in Palestine and, all being well, refreshments in the Walled Garden.

FUNDRAISING We raise funds for the Khuza’a play and heal centre for traumatised children in Gaza and the Sheffield Palestine Women’s Scholarship fund which supports Palestinian women to study at university. Last year we raised over £12,000!
Read more about the two charitable initiatives and how you can help fundraise here.

THE THEME IS REFUGEES Each year we pick a different theme to raise awareness of a particular problem for Palestinian people. Read more about the theme here.

ALL ARE WELCOME The event will be as inclusive and welcoming as possible. We would like to help overcome the many barriers experienced by people from marginalised groups, ethnicities, religions, genders and disabilities. If you require support to help you participate, please contact us. small.park.big.run@gmail.com

STAY IN TOUCH! We publish a regular newsletter in the months leading up to the event in June – if you would like to get updates about the event, the projects we support, information about Palestine and more please sign up here!

CONTACT US! / SPEAK TO US! / JOIN US!  We have multiple social media channels! We’d love to hear from you. And remember if you share stuff please use our hashtag: #spBR22

Our channels: Facebook – Webpage – Instagram – Twitter – Email – Strava

RUNS IN PALESTINE – In 2019 seven runs took place in Palestine at the same time as ours. They were held in the spirit of friendship and solidarity. Plans are still being made for 2022 but we can happily confirm there will be a run in Nablus. Below are picture of the Nablus 2019 Run for Freedom/small park BIG RUN.

Below is a small selection of photos from our last Meersbrook Park event in 2019.

We hope to see you 18-19 June, noon – noon SIGN UP HERE!

My friend the flag part 3

Our fiend and supporter Judy walked for 50 hours over 24 days to cover one kilometre for every year of her life.

She had 150+ encounters with individuals, couples, families, friends and dogs and toiled up the hill to complete my 73rd kilometre lap where she was duly presented with a certificate by the Mayor.

You can read her final instalment here

Goodness gracious, Great Gym Sheffield!

Many people do their small park BIG RUN DIY activities in groups, with some amazingly creative and impressive efforts recorded. Since the beginning five years ago Good Gym Sheffield has put together 24 hour teams who have performed some extraordinary and inspiring efforts. Here Good Gym Sheffield member Andrew tells us what they did for #spBR21.

“Good Gym Sheffield joined Small Park Big Run on what has become an annual fixture for us. We had 18 runners – and between us we covered the whole 24 hours – often with more than one runner out at any given time.

“There were some truly amazing efforts – Dana ran for the whole 24 hours, running over 100 miles on a treadmill and raising over £1,500 for the SPBR charities; Rachel ran a mile each hour for the whole 24 hours; Celine ran the Limestone Way [46 miles]; and Katy ran the Round Sheffield Run – twice [30 miles]!

“The mere mortals in the team hit the trails in the parks, woods and streets around Sheffield and the Peak – with one or two unable to resist the lure of the Meersbrook Hill.

“At midday on Sunday a number of us joined the event in Meersbrook Park – and the weather was kind enough to let us sit out for a picnic and enjoy the singing and music. We’ll definitely be back next year – supporting the event once more – and “looking forward” to 24 hours on the hill.

“Until then our thoughts are with those in Palestine.”

From all at #spBR21 thank you Good Gym! Find out more about Good Gym Sheffield here

Health and trauma in Palestine – closing spbr21

Every year after small park BIG RUN we link up with our partners in Palestine. It is a wonderful event; and this year it also an opportunity to learn from and show solidarity with Palestinian people.

This year was no exception – it proved to be a wonderful and important moment of solidarity and friendship. 

At the start we had a very moving tribute to Fatima Al Ajarma, who died this year at the age of 100, after a lifetime of resistance demanding her right to return to her land in Ajjur.

You can watch the tribute from her granddaughter, Kholoud, read by Sheffield PSC activist Annie O’Gara:

You can also read the tribute here.

As our overall theme this year was health and health inequalities in Palestine we had two speakers that gave us insights into different aspects of health care.

We heard about the impact of Covid-19 on healthcare in Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem from Dr Mohammed Abu Sroar. Listen to the audio here

And from Dr Osama Freina, Director of Gaza Community Mental Health Programme in the Southern Part of the Gaza Strip, we heard about the describe terrible impact of violence on children. Listen to the audio of Musheir Al Farra interviewing and then translating here

As in past years we had a link up with our partners at the Never Stop Dreaming Charity Association (http://bit.ly/neverstopdrreaming) – one of the organisations that we have worked with for many years and will benefit directly from your fundraising efforts. You can watch a moving and heart-warming video of the children singing here:

Health and Israeli apartheid

This year at small park BIG RUN we chose the theme of health because that has been such a prominent public discussion in Britain and across the world.

We have put together some posters describing some of the gross inequalities faced by Palestinians in their daily lives, things we often take for granted. Health is yet another realm of life where Israeli apartheid holds sway.

The first poster is here and then follow the links