I will be part of a team of 10 University members and will walk over 120 miles from Hornsea on the east coast, through to Sheffield along the Trans Pennine Trail, from 12-17th June. A second team will walk from the west coast at Southport, and we will join up at Tankersley near Sheffield for the final 18 mile walk via Meadowhall.
Funds raised through the Big Walk will be used to support refugee academics and students at the University, to demonstrate our solidarity with refugees and to show that refugees are welcome at our University and in our city. Our University is a University of Sanctuary and this has been our tradition since this institution was founded.
Refugees fleeing conflict are people, not statistics. They don't want to steal jobs or claim benefits, they want somewhere safe for themselves and their family, in the same way that we would if placed in the same situation.
This fundraising will support both academics and students to live in safety and share their experience, views and talent with the University. Both the individual and University gain from this experience, and it'll help provide them with a better future going forwards.
We need to look beyond fear and reach out with humanity and compassion to show these vulnerable people our support.
Funds raised through the Big Walk 2016 will be used in the following ways:
• Supporting at-risk academics: We have strong links with a number of programmes to support at-risk academics,
including the Institute of International Education's Scholar Rescue Fund and the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) -
a charity which helps academics in immediate danger, those forced into exile. Through these partnerships, the University of Sheffield can host academics, giving them a place of safety and the financial and practical help to continue their careers until such as time as they can return home.
• Students seeking refuge or asylum: The University offers fully funded undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships for refugees including those seeking asylum in the UK. Throughout 2016 we will be
raising funds to increase this support.
Thank you for supporting the Big Walk 2016.
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