Virtual Freedom Run with Danielle Stone

Runners, cyclers and walkers cover the equator to support LGBTQI+ Asylum seekers

As the quarantine continues and no one is quite sure what happens next, all we can do try and find the small things that keep healthy in body and mind.

Everyone has their own challenges, be that keeping children entertained, working in pressured situations or worrying about what the future holds. One group of people that are finding the situation hard to deal with are those that have ended up here in the North East seeking asylum from persecution, imprisonment or death in their home countries for being LGBT.

Arriving in the UK as an asylum-seeker can often be a distressing and isolating time for people. Being LGB or T however adds an extra layer of isolation as they are often not accepted by fellow asylum seekers from the same countries or cultures, or are just afraid to be themselves and reach out to others.

Charity Rainbow Home gives vital support to these people, helping them present their case to the Home Office as well as helping them settle, orientate themselves and get the necessities to live. At the moment however, as with so many things, this life-line is under threat due to Coronavirus. 

Competition is fierce for funding and grants to charities and LGBT refugees often end up at the bottom of the list. I don’t think the place you were born should restrict you from being who you are or who you love. I do feel like this forgotten group of people deserve a chance at life.

The Rainbow Home team have just launched a unique event that anyone can join, which is designed to help them survive this turbulent time and be there as a friendly face to those who have no-one to turn to.

They can’t do it alone so they need your help! Tempting as it is to binge-watch box sets and eat chocolate on the sofa, many of us have been making the most of the limited freedoms that we have been given during Lockdown and getting out and about for our government-sanctioned-one-exercise-per-day outing. If you’re one of the many who are running, walking, cycling or just ambling round the block, you can add extra meaning to your steps by joining our Virtual Freedom Run, an ambitious campaign to run the length of the equator – 40,000km!

Our idea is a simple one, donate just £15 and register your entry. Then you just run/walk/cycle as much as you can between now and the end of June. No fundraising, no compulsory distance to cover – every metre covered helps!

There’s a bespoke hand-cast medal up for grabs for entrants and the kudos that comes from being part of an amazing effort to save a charity. If you’re a serious runner there’s a Strava group to join too.

SICKENING Rainbow Home Fundraiser this Friday

Friday 29th of May at 7pm on Instagram Live over 20 drag performers from North East will be performing to raise money for Rainbow Home NE, an amazing charity helping LGBTQ+ refugees in the North East area. Make sure you check them out on Facebook and Twitter! You can donate here:

Right at the end Alexander Robinson (Mutha Tucka) will also be performing and doing Fireball Friday! 

And make sure you follow all the Kings & Queens on Instagram so you don’t miss any of their performances! 

Danielle (she/her)is head of UX at brand agency JUMP in Newcastle, she also sits on the Board of Rainbow Home (NE) supporting the charity with marketing and digital communication.