Long may she run

Great Britain

One six-year-old girl, 5,000 metres to run, £240 to raise, and six days to do it in. It’s a big ask, but then again Beth isn’t your average six-year-old.   

Beth Wynter (‘Bethany Louise Ruby Wynter’, as she tells me) is, by her own admission, a determined little girl. As she puts it; ‘Once I get something in my brain, basically, then I keep on thinking about it. I keep on making up ideas for it.’   

It all started when she saw a group of fundraisers one Sunday morning as she was on her way to church. ‘I saw these people with all these tutus and I asked daddy what they were doing. When he told me they were raising money for charity, I asked if could I do it too.’    

The race is on   

As it happens, Beth was already limbering up for a 5km park run the following Saturday – her tenth. That left six days to find sponsors, and so the race was on! ‘The deadline gave her focus,’ says daddy Pete, who works as a curate at St Paul’s Church, Onslow Square in London.   

‘That night I called my Granny and Grandpa, I called lots of people I know to sponsor me,’ remembers Beth. And, as she says, the ideas kept coming. She sat up in bed that night and wrote a series of letters. Then she designed a set of ‘giving cards.’ She gave both out to friends, teachers and even some of her fellow runners.   

Beth running across the Tearfund carpark (Photo: Seaumus Reilly – Tearfund)
Beth re-stages the 'finishing line moment' in Tearfund car park

Cross-country   

Beth was inspired to raise money for Tearfund after she read about another girl the same age as her. Yasmin lives in the Sahel region of Chad. Changes to the climate left the whole family dangerously short of food and Yasmin often too weak to play.    

‘She immediately connected to Yasmin,’ remembers Pete. ‘It was a little girl, six years old, and it was that sense of ‘she doesn’t have, [but] I have’. We talk a lot in this family about people that don’t have as much as us.’    

‘I know I’m really lucky with all I’ve got, and I feel I really need to help them,’ adds Beth.   

Her aim was to raise £240 from the run. It’s an ambitious target for almost anyone to raise in six days flat. However, in the end, Beth did rather better. The total now exceeds £1,500 including gift aid!    

‘I felt special when I raised all that money,’ she ventures. Beth’s sense of achievement was bolstered further when she discovered that she had covered the five kilometres in just over 34 minutes, a personal best. 

'I know I’m really lucky with all I’ve got, and I feel I really need to help'

Beth

Power of the possible    

‘My wife Sarah and I were so struck by the experience for her,’ says Pete. ‘She was shocked and excited by how much she was able to raise – it’s enough to feed 25 people for an entire year. She has learnt how much she can do for the sake of others, even though she is young.’     

Does Beth want to do another fundraising run next year? ‘No… I don’t know,’ she admits. ‘We’ve talked about climbing a mountain,’ chimes in daddy. ‘We might climb Mount Snowdon next year.’ Beth is clearly open to this idea. Whatever she chooses to do next, she will set about it with every ounce of energy and determination she possesses.    

Want to give Beth’s fundraising an extra boost? Go to her Give.net page now!  

Ben Cohen
Ben is Web Editor for Tearfund. This can sometimes feel a bit like being ‘senior hairstylist for Bigfoot’ but he does his best. He writes a bunch of stories for the website, regular emails to supporters and much more besides.

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