The York 10K - Support the #RaceForRights

Two people from York with severe disabilities will race for the rights of people with disabilities across the globe in the city’s 10k this Sunday.

MENCAP service users Danny Tozer, 35, and Sharon Cook, 62, will join the team running for York-based development charity, International Service, which supports some of world’s the most marginalised people to take control of their lives. This includes supporting people with a disability in West Africa, South America and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to access education, participate in their community and reduce the discrimination they often face.

The struggle and stigma faced by people with disabilities in Ghana has recently been powerfully demonstrated in in BBC3’s ‘The World’s Worst Place to Be Disabled?’

Danny has a severe learning disability, autism and epilepsy and he does not speak, though he used to as a small child.

Danny’s mum, Rosie said: “Throughout his life people have often assumed that Danny can't do things and often have not given him a chance to try.

“Danny may not understand that the run he'll be doing on Sunday with his support worker Barry is to raise funds for disabled people  in other countries who likewise have their opportunities limited by attitudes and resources. 

“But we know that he enjoys running, it helps him feel good and he likes to be part of the crowd. Over the last 2 years he's been part of the Disability Athletics group at York Athletics club and he and Barry and others completed the 10K last year for International Service. 

“If we could explain to Danny what this is all for we're sure he'd want others to have the same chance he's had to take part in sports.  He just knows it should be a fun day and we’ll have our fingers crossed that the sun shines!”

Jo Baker, Chief Executive of International Service, added: “We are so proud of the work we do and that we have Danny racing with us again this year and Sharon for her first York 10K.

“It’s incredible that people living with a disability here in York are racing to support those in a similar situation overseas.

“I know that they will get fantastic support from the York crowd on the day and hope that Danny, Sharon and our other runners will inspire others to get involved with our work.”

International Service are a partner in the UK Government’s International Citizen Service, a fully funded programme which sees 18-25 year olds volunteering and living for 12 weeks in some of the world’s most deprived communities. They also need volunteers to support their  work from the York office.

There are lots of ways to support our work. There are lots of volunteering and fundraising opportunities, or you can simply donate direct.

International Service will be at the York 10k in their blue and white t-shirts under the flags of the countries they work in from 8am. Go and say hi for more information about their work, to make a donation and to take part in their competition for an incredible year’s supply of Yorkshire Tea or Taylors of Harrogate coffee.

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Contact on the day: Chris Maughan 07483111260

Contact during office hours: Gareth Wilce / Chris Maughan 01904 731140

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