Council worker to run marathon in the Middle East after meeting fleeing Iraqi families

Published April 21, 2017 at 11:11

Adrian Smith, a Bacup-based father-of-three, is preparing to run a marathon in the heat of the Middle East in May to support families affected by war and persecution in the Middle East.

Adrian, 56, has previously visited Iraq and has seen for himself the suffering faced by many families following the invasion of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), which forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.

He said: “I’ve seen these families suffering, as well as the huge difference people’s donations can make. We are blessed by accident of birth to live in UK and I would like to contribute to making a small difference.”

The Principal Planning Officer for Rossendale Council will be running to raise funds for the work of Open Doors, a charity that works to support Christians who have been persecuted for their faith, and provides vital aid to tens of thousands of displaced families in Syria and Iraq.

Adrian will be travelling to Lebanon to run the marathon, the first long-distance run he has done since taking part in the Great North Run in his mid-20s.

Adrian added: “Sometimes it’s really hard work, but quite often I remember those who are suffering or imprisoned for their belief and am grateful for the freedom I have.”

Stuart Sugarman, Chief Executive of Rossendale Council, said:

“We wish Adrian all the best as he raises money for an important cause – we are all getting behind him here. We have some big hearted staff here at Rossendale who do a lot of charity work and work in their communities.”

While he is in Lebanon he will have the opportunity to meet some of the families that have fled to Lebanon from Syria, and will be supported by the funds he raises. To sponsor Adrian and support displaced families in the Middle East, visit


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