Go Wild in the Country!

HUGE thanks to Wild Peak for their fundraiser which raised an amazing total of £648.15 for DRS!! We had the loveliest day with all the warm, generous and fun people at Wild Peak and we can't wait to be invited again!

On Saturday we will be having a short meeting to decide how to spend this and other money raised for DRS causes. Please come and join us!

Thanks also to everyone who volunteered, donated and/or visited today. Another wonderful morning in the company of wonderful human beings!!!


Buzzy and busy!

Happy Monday! Busy busy week ahead for DRS. On Thursday we have exciting visits from Mikey at Sustrans who will be helping us with our bike project and from Lucy at Derby University who will be exploring ways that Derby University students could get involved!

Then on Saturday we have a short Team Meeting to decide how to spend some money and when we might go on an aid trip to Calais.

Hope to see you there! .

Spin the Chilli!

DRS volunteers and refugees had an energetic and exciting evening at the Spin the Chilli event at the Fish pond Matlock bath on 12th July.. Nisha Nath pictured here with our very own Saeed 'in a suit' gave an exhilarating performance followed by a dance class. We all performed bangra and bollywood moves with no expertise but much enthusiasm. All in support of women trafficked in West Bengal.


DRS modern art installation.....?

Now. I know what you're thinking. "What an amazing art installation!"

It is in fact my neighbour's shed. Full of rusting garden equipment. If you think you might have garden equipment you told yourself you would use and instead shoved in the back of a shed, please donate it to DRS!

We need forks, spades, hoes, trowels, handforks, rakes, hoses, lopers, secateurs and plants for our wonderful gardening project!


Wild Peaks DRS Fundraiser

More to follow but in the hour and a half that I was at this magical event, I saw the Sheriff of Belper, some dreadful Am Dram and lots of wonderful people sharing a lovely afternoon!

Rachel continues…

We had such a brilliant afternoon at the White Peak fundraiser! We introduced some of our volunteers to hook a duck (which became very competitive ) , all learnt how to play Kubb and enjoyed a bit of sunshine. Everyone had a go at printing their own t-shirts and we got to watch some incredible trapeze acts whilst stuffing our faces with yummy vegan food! If all that wasn’t enough...half of the money raised at the event is being donated to DRS!!


On 23rd June 2019, ten volunteers with DRS were lucky enough to become part of a wonderful project celebrating Derby’s History, in particular the Silk Mill lock our in 1833.

The artwork is being created by Red Saunders,

“Red Saunders is a professional photographer who combines his photographic practice with cultural, artistic, musical, and political activism. The aim of Red’s Hidden Project, through re-imagining those events, is to reproduce important historic scenes involving the dissenters, revolutionaries, radicals and non-conformists who have so often been hidden from history.”

The ten volunteers arrived at the Multi-faith Centre at Derby University at 2pm to be transformed, using costumes and make-up, into characters supporting the lock out., who came from all over the country.

“Walking from Derby to outlying villages, local workers were joined by supporters from all parts of the country. The Lock Out lasted five months, and saw 2,400 workers locked out of paid employment in a town of 23,000 inhabitants, causing poverty amongst families of the working classes. You will need to play a part in conjuring up the feelings of this time;- frustration, anger and hunger mixed with a sense of strength, solidarity and organisational discipline which were the hallmarks of the Derby Trade Unionists”.

All our volunteers loved the event and now want to so more similar things in future. One or two in particular - no names mentioned- seemed to have been born into their role and didn’t really want to tkae their costumes off again!!


DRS meets the Sheriff of Nottingham

The Red Cross Refugee Wellbeing event in Nottingham on 18th June was wonderful!

Lots of stalls full of useful information (Hazel should have brought a wheelbarrow to carry all the leaflets she collected!); free food and clothes; best of all a warm, welcoming atmosphere and an opportunity to meet the Sheriff!

DRS volunteers Fauzi, Mogahid and Ibrahim spoke to representatives from Nottingham University about possibly joining their Summer School Programme and Abdul chatted to a Policeman!, originally from Egypt, where Abdul is from!


Open Arms in Open Spaces

From Markeaton Parkrun News


What's the best thing about parkrun?

It gets you fit?

You meet great people?

There's cake?

Personally I think it's the inclusivity. Everybody is welcome. A free run in a free park (if you forget about the car-parking charge). All ages, all abilities, all speeds, all shapes, all sizes, all together. There aren't many events or places where you can say that. On Saturday morning, the Markeaton parkrun inclusivity went up a notch though with the recognition of National Refugee Week.

As the sun poked its head out of the clouds and said "Naaah! I'm not bothering today" and the grey clouds took a break from hanging about over Download to visit Markeaton Park for a bit, an impressive 487 people braved the dismal morning and gathered together at the steps near the cafe. On any other week, the tourists from Poole, Birmingham, Exmouth and Northwich would have been impressive enough, but because this is National Refugee Week, things were a bit different. It's not everyday you get visitors from...


...and that is pretty incredible. Welcome along everybody. Whether you're from Exmouth or Eritrea, Ilkeston or Iraq, Syria Striders or Shelton Striders, it was great to see you all. This is what the parkrun community is all about isn't it? Amazing stuff.

We were able to extend a Markeaton welcome to our foreign friends because of brand new Run Director Steve who volunteers with Derbyshire Refugees Solidarity. He welcomed us with a fabulous run briefing before off we all went on 2 laps of the park. Good work Steve.

Celebrating milestone runs this week were... Joseph Young running his 10th parkrun, Ashley Bellamy, Marvin Ceiley, Kevin Smith and Tim Stokes completing their 50th runs and Sam Holgate clocking up his 150th. Everybody at Markeaton loves you, admires you and thanks you...mostly because there was a great big mound of cake on the table. Excellent cake-bringing everybody. Oh, congratulations on that running thing too.

The biggest shock out on the course this week was...WHERE WERE THE PUDDLES?!?! After a week of never ending rain and Derby being as damp as a Downloader's tent, the park was relatively puddle-free. The PUDDLE OF DOOM was a shadow of its former self and many parkrunners ditched the snorkel and wellies ensemble to run, jog or walk without getting too wet at all. Many were disappointed as the rising waters were going to be the excuse for missing out on a fast time today. In the end they all agreed to blame the roadworks around Derby. Seems fair to me.

Others saw their chance for a PB and grabbed it with both hands. Congratulations to the 62 people who were smiling harder than Frank Lampard with a brand new Chels...sorry, Derby contract in his hand.

It was grey and drizzly but our bunch of volunteers were, as ever, amazing. Thank you so much to the mighty fine 39 people who made this glorious event happen. It's the power of the parkrun people that keep this thing going and, like the roadworks, it shows no signs of stopping yet.

So, there we go, another tremendous Markeaton parkrun. If you ran, jogged, walked, volunteered or stood at the side thinking "What on Earth are they all doing?!" then you were awesome and part of a beautiful occasion.

An occasion that welcomes everybody from everywhere. Whatever your background, wherever you come from, whoever you are. An event where we can all run, no matter what you are running from. Yes to barcodes and biscuits, no to barriers and borders. Yes to friends, no to frontiers. A place where the displaced and the smiley-faced are one. Open arms and open spaces. Less contempt and conflict, more compassion and cake. Always more cake.

Just imagine if the real world was more like parkrun.