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.


DRS Quiet Superstars...

Pssst. You may not know this but we have two people on our team who are quietly raising loads of money for DRS and we think it's high time we gave them a VERY BIG SHOUT OUT!!

Yagel and Gareth Hewitt, as well has being famous for cute kids and amazing cakes, run our eBay sales and they do an incredible job of it, selling donated items and finding hidden gems among the piles and piles of generous donations.

Yagel says, " One day back when we were on that little warehouse with rats and all 📷, sorting donations, I asked Lucy what happened with all the stuff that wasn't good enough to send but in good condition. On those days, we used to just send them to weigh in.
I came across with this stunning blue vintage suede long coat so I though instead of getting it to weigh in, why not take some pictures and upload them in the shop and see how it goes. That coat sold for £35, and together with other stuff, that week raised £80!
So since then, we've been going weekly or when time permits, taking pictures of whatever the volunteers leave for Ebay, uploading them and see how it goes. Once the week ends, whatever is raised in profit, I transfer to DRS paypal account, as you can see in the pics."

Now, being quiet heroes, I know Yagel and Gareth would not a fuss. So definitely DON'T make a big fuss on here or in real life. Don't do loads of noisy emojis etc. ok?


Daring Dominic!!!

Volunteer Claire Storey’s brilliant son Dominic has decided he will join the Park Run event on Saturday, running with his Dad. He's done the 2k Park Run Junior before, but this is his first go at a 5k, running with and for refugees! If you're coming down on Saturday and see him, give him a shout! Go Dominic!!



DRS on the wheels of steel!!

Yesterday DRS were honoured to have DJ Yousef, DJ Muyash, DJ Zak, DJ Mogahid, DJ Krish, DJ Ibrahim and, of course, DJ Su-ki in da house! The first DRS rave can only be a matter of time!

DJ Su-ki, aka Sue Allinson, ran her first DJ classes which proved extremely popular! She is hoping that this can progress into a DRS DJ co-op who can then play at live events and, in time, achieve worldwide success!!

HUGE thanks also to all those who donated sports kit for the Run with Refugees event next Saturday and to Robin, who took a car load of Moses Baskets and baby clothes ready to go on the next container to Syria!


Belper Goes Green Festival

At Belper Goes Green Festival this weekend, DRS were represented by Kate, Chrissie and Diana! Diana says...

"As well and making money for DRS we had great fun. We publicised the DRS Open Day on June 22nd and met a wonderful, diverse mix of people,

In usual DRS style we spread our wings from half a table on Saturday to two tables on Sunday! Brilliant couple of days!"

Thanks to Kate for selecting and bringing the clothes!


Hey boy! hey girl! Superstar DJ....here we go!!

There’s so much happening at DRS during the month of June and what better way to get things started than getting on the “wheels of steel” and becoming a Superstar DJ!

DJ Su-ki, otherwise known as volunteer Sue, will be teaching volunteers basic DJ skills on the 6th and 13 the June and is hoping to work towards a DRS DJ co=op to play at festivals and events!

Soon after that is our Run with Refugees event, organised by Zak and Steve (see details below) Feel free to come along and join in. We will have spare kit for anyone who needs any and I shall be bringing up the rear with my dog so if you fancy a 5k dog walk, please join me!