Syria to Steep fundraiser - final day of journey

Posted on 13th May 2020

**UPDATE: Last day - Fri 10pm. And we've travelled over 1,000 kms today. Total: 7,015 kms. Thank you all who have contributed. It's been a true community effort in support of vulnerable people. The donation website will remain open so please support if you haven't already. Our totaliser (below) has gone off the scale! Thank you. Photo: Freddy clocking up the kms (Amy Meadows)

Distance covered

7015 KM

Idlib, Syria

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Bedales School

Bedales has launched an ambitious fundraising initiative for members across the school community to walk/ run/ cycle/ swim/ paddle (or other) the equivalent distance of Idlib in Syria to Bedales in Steep - that’s 4,066 km – in just one week, from 16-22 May 2020.

With the plight of refugees attempting to reach UK shores in the news again, the school is raising funds for the Rural Refugee Network and John Badley Foundation. The RRN helps bring refugees to safety in the UK and supports them as they settle into their new communities in Hampshire. The JBF offers full bursaries to Bedales for children in challenging home or school situations. The RRN and JBF have a track record of working together to enable a transformative Bedales education for individuals fleeing civil war in Syria. 

How to join in?

All are welcome to join in - Bedales, Dunhurst, Dunannie, Old Bedalians, pupils, staff, families, friends, dogs..... All you need to do is commit your exercise activities to the cause during the week of the campaign: Saturday 16 - Friday 22 May (inclusive). When you have completed your activity, email your miles or kms covered to All the better if you can include photographs, videos, screenshots distances covered (eg. on Strava) and tag us in your social media (please note that if you submit material we may use it for promotion). For Strava users, join our special challenge club (search 'SyriatoSteep' in clubs). Why not challenge yourself to achieve a specific distance during the campaign? (Please ensure you keep to Government guidance on exercise and the outdoors). We will keep the totaliser (above) up to date to track our progress against the target of 4,066 km. We will also provide updates on Twitter and Instagram.

How to donate?

Any sponsorship and donations from you, your friends and family will be greatly appreciated. Please donate via the Pledgit fundraising platform. The first £500 will be matched, and all contributions will be shared equally between the RRN and JBF. Donate here.

Emily Mott Duncannon, Trustee, Rural Refugee Network commented:

“Lockdown has given us a new appreciation for our homes, families, friends, healthcare, schools and food. In contrast, war has ravaged Syria for the past five years and displaced over 11 million people, leaving families with very little. Thank you Bedales community for initiating this fundraiser that will contribute to housing, education and job training for Syrian refugees settled in Hampshire. What a fantastic way to raise important funds and to give students and families an opportunity to exercise with a purpose!”

Magnus Bashaarat, Head of Bedales, added:

“Bedales students and staff have enjoyed working with the Rural Refugee Network over recent years to support their essential work helping refugees escape persecution and civil war. I have seen first-hand at Bedales how a secure and individualised education can benefit vulnerable children through the John Badley Foundation. This lockdown initiative is an excellent way for people to join in, and I am looking forward to clocking up the miles next week to raise funds for these two good causes.”  

In addition to resettlement services, the RRN offers grants for education, training and employment to families and young people placed across Hampshire.

The JBF offers financial support through fully funded bursaries, giving more young people a chance to benefit from the transformational opportunity a Bedales education can provide. Beneficiaries have come from areas of conflict in the world, in addition to those facing difficult personal and family circumstances in the UK.