Helen Cleaves

Oli's 5km Run for Refugees

Fundraising for UK for UNHCR
raised of £250 target
by 91 supporters
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RCN 1183415
We protect refugees worldwide to provide life-saving emergency assistance


My name is Oli. I have been a fundraiser since I was six when I held a ‘Bring and buy’ garden party in aid of the families affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster. With the help of my friends and family we raised £900.

Two months later I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This turned my life upside down. I couldn’t eat anything without a ton of planning, I couldn’t do any exercise, even play football, without doing a finger prick, I couldn’t go on playdates. And I had to have multiple insulin injections a day to keep my blood sugar at the right level. And sleeping was tricky as to keep me safe during the night I had to have finger pricks and injections or food.

I wanted to do something positive in the face of something so rubbish, so took on a 5km run. This was a huge challenge for me and my friends as none of us had run that sort of distance before – and we were only 7! I couldn't believe we did it and raised lots of money for JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charity. It was such a success we did it again the following year. 

Then Covid struck and we couldn’t do a run like that again. My amazing teacher suggested that my class did 5k at school instead. This turned out to be 50 laps of the school track! So far my runs have raised £13,000 for type 1 research.

Now I have a new challenge. As much as I would like to help fund a cure for diabetes, there are people who need the money more right now. The invasion poses awful problems for Ukrainian type 1s as they can’t get insulin or test their blood sugar like usual. Without essential kit, type 1 refugees could become seriously ill. It would be hard enough having to leave my home not knowing when I would be able to return and where I was going, let alone not being able to look after my diabetes.

I need your help to make life a little less awful for these people. It could so easily be me. Thank you for reading this and for your donation. Every penny will help to make a difference for refugees.

And, if you would like to, please run with me: Richmond ParkRun, 9am on Saturday 14th May. Make your own t-shirt so we know you are part of the team!

About the charity


Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1183415
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency leads the response to refugee protection across the world. This work relies on donations so thank you for standing with refugees and making their protection possible. UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national partner for the United Kingdom.

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+ £435.50 Gift Aid
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