The Sanctuary Runners off to a flyer in London

Londoners got their first taste of the Sanctuary Runner movement last Saturday, November 6th, as the blue wave reached Fulham.

In the shadow of Craven Cottage the solidarity-through-sport movement welcomed new Sanctuary Runners in blue on an electric morning by the Thames – including refugees living in the local area.

With the movement’s founder Graham Clifford in London to launch the Sanctuary Runners’ first group outside of Ireland the large attendance of 400 at the Fulham Palace park run in Bishop’s Park embraced the concept.

“It was such a fantastic welcome,” said Graham Clifford, adding “there were queues of people waiting to grab one of our running tops and find out how they could play their part in growing the movement in London in the weeks and months ahead. Often in cities disconnection is a real problem – and its especially difficult for refugees and migrants who know no one, have so little and are unable to establish relationships with people. And, of course, there are language barriers too. And the message of ‘solidarity rather than charity’ went down very well.”

Tracey O’Brien who leads the Sanctuary Runners in London said she can’t wait to work on building the movement there.

“We’ll be taking part in the Fulham Palace parkrun every Saturday morning (at 9am) in November and will be handing out our Sanctuary Runner tops to those who plan to run, walk or jog with us. And we’d be so grateful to find Londoners who’d like to be involved in the organisation of the Sanctuary Runners here. All you have to do is drop us an email to and we’ll explain how you can play your part.”

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