Charity walk returns for twelfth time

The Men from the Havant Hindu Temple gather outside with Deputy Mayor, Cllr Peter Wade prior to starting the sponsored walk     ''Picture: Keith Woodland
The Men from the Havant Hindu Temple gather outside with Deputy Mayor, Cllr Peter Wade prior to starting the sponsored walk ''Picture: Keith Woodland

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A CHARITY walk has returned for the twelfth time to support local charities.

More than 50 people joined the 10k challenge at BAPS Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu temple in Havant to raise money for Fitzroy Waterlooville, which supports people with learning difficulties, and BAP’S national charity partner, Carers UK.

Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha, often abbreviated as BAPS, is a worldwide religious and civic organization within the Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism.

Volunteer Praful Thaker helped to organise the event which kicked off at 1.45pm after monks from the main temple in London recited the prayer for peace in the world.

Praful said: ‘It was a really great day. We have been doing these walks since 2006 and people love getting involved in the walks.

‘It not only raises money for local and national charities, but also that awareness to people in our community.’

Deputy Mayor Councillor Peter Wade and Deputy Mayoress Mrs Janet Wade attended the event on Sunday to officially open the walk.

The funds raised will go towards community and spiritual activities in Havant and the surrounding area.

They will also go towards supporting this year’s Mayor’s charity, Fitzroy Waterlooville, for adults with learning difficulties which offer a range of activities tailored to individuals including arts and craft sessions, music and gardening.

Nationally the event also supported BAPS’s national charity partner, Carers UK, which aims to make life better for 6.5 million people in the UK who are supporting a loved one.

Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, said: ‘Caring for loved ones who are ill, older or disabled is one of the most natural things in the world.

‘Yet many carers miss out on vital support because of the time it takes to recognise their roles.

‘That’s why this fundraising partnership between BAPS and Carers UK is so important.

‘Not only will vital funds raised through the 10k run go a long way towards supporting our work, it will also help more unpaid carers, looking after loved ones in the community, to find out more about their roles and come forward for support.’