Safe Ground - Using drama to educate prisoners and young people at risk in the community


The Big Day: Safe Ground On The Run, Saturday 9th March 2013

Safe Ground On The Run

It was chilly and it was dry. Perfect conditions for a 10k run. The occasion was warm and lively – an atmosphere perfected by Safe Ground for public events. As morning ascended, not quite shaking off the night and settling as a billowing grey sheet of cloud, Safe Ground staff, Race Day volunteers, sponsoring partners, runners and their supports all emerged from the concrete tendrils of Battersea Park and quietly swarmed around the Bandstand. What began as the lone staccato of the Race Organiser (and Commercial Manager of Safe Ground) directing the arrangements, soon became a mirth filled hum as the team became familiar with two-way radios and their designated roles. As race entrants arrived to collect their race numbers, connect with friends and chatter in anticipation, the hum became a buzz. Over 100 thriller bees willing to sacrifice sweat and more sweat for the majesty of Safe Ground. A truly proud and humbling moment for the organisation and all those involved in the work we do.

However, Safe Ground is always on the move, runners by nature do not keep still and time waits for no-one. Before we knew it the start time was imminent. After a rousing address from our Executive Director, Charlotte Weinberg, that limbered up body and soul, the runners made their way to the start line and at 9.30am Charlotte blew the whistle that launched our inaugural sponsored run. The runners were off leaving behind a melodic thunder as they began their four circuits of the southern half of Battersea Park.

Safe Ground On The Run - Start
Photograph courtesy of Eleanor Robertson, 09/03/2013

The fast runners were fast and overall it was a quick race, the final runner crossing the line in one hour and twenty minutes. Charlotte presented the first place runner with their medal but everyone was a winner, in particular Safe Ground. The amount of energy emanating from the team of twenty volunteers, Safe Ground staff and runner supporters was trebled in decibels. Each runner received personal encouragement, shouts, cheers and wild whoops. All this gold was crowned with a brass gong and a sensational goody bag courtesy of Whole Foods Market Clapham, as each runner crossed the line. They all finished and we were all in it together.

Safe Ground Over The Line

What makes Safe Ground unique in our sector is the intensity of our participartory practice and that we do not exercise singular interventions. Basically, just because the run was finished didn’t mean the party was over. Stage two of our event was Safe Ground Over The Line, a post run celebration at Ethelburga’s Community Centre just a 10 minute walk from the finish line. A mahogany coloured hexagonal haven from the harshness of concrete, our runners, spectators and supporters were treated to free food and drink, cake giveaways from Bad Boys Bakery (who were also present in the park during the race), chair massages courtesy of Barking Bathhouse, and live music from Jessiqua and the Emeson Acoustic Solar*isation.

As a charitable organisation, the raffle that rounded off proceedings, was a veritable giveaway. The donated prizes were just ridiculous. To list a few,  a day of golf at Lambourne Golf Club, dinner in the Boardroom of Brentford followed by seat to a home match and a twelve bottle case of elegant and expensive wine, each donated by a Trustee or ex-Trustee. Also up for grabs was a tremendous bespoke cake, courtesy of the generous Blueberry Hill Cakes, bearing the legend ‘I’m On The Run 2013’, that matched the badges that each runner received at registration and wore during the race. A sports massage and an organic facial from the munificent Barking Bathhouse, who also donated all their proceeds from the massages to Safe Ground. The list went on and there were some very happy and fortunate people, but most importantly it was fun.

Safe Ground Over The Line - Crowd
Photograph courtesy of Eleanor Robertson, 09/03/2013

As the ‘Corridors of My Mind’ ended the live set by Emeson, so that cued the reluctant end to the days events. Hopefully people left knowing a little bit more about Safe Ground and having had a great day. Safe Ground would like to thank all who supported us in organising the event and making Safe Ground Over The Line a great success.

Thank you

We would like to give special mention to: Whole Foods Market Clapham, Leonie Alert, Bad Boys Bakery-Working Links, Aoibheann Callely, Rachel Walker, Abigail Conway-Todd, Blueberry Hill Cakes, Rachel Reynolds, Ella Fletcher, Barking Bathhouse, Rachelle Moulai, Farrah Idris, Sue Howes, Greg Dyke, Craig Orr, Boots (Reading), Lush (Reading), Costa Do Estoril, Thomas Thompsett at CSSC, Safe Ground volunteers Andrea Lewis and Morwenna Bennallick, Race Day volunteers: Bode Akanbi, Mick Lydon, Linda Lucas, Catharine Robertson, Catriona Robertson, Tony De St. Aubin, Ikenna Nwosu, Adaku Nwosu, Chijioke Nwosu, Tammy McGloughlin, Marion Lowe, Susan Hewitt, Alison Cole, David Binder, Ben Cheetham, Tom Turner, Leonard Theobalds, Ian Griffiths, Inspector Stephen Biggs (Wandsworth Events Police), Emeson, Mart Geibner, Jessiqua, Chris Franck runners and supporters.

Look out next week for a dedicated page on our website featuring a photogallery and video from the day. Thank you.




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