100 run for Rebecca in the 2018 Great North Run, Newcastle

On 9 September 2018, over 100 of Rebecca’s friends and family travelled to Newcastle to take part in the world’s biggest half-marathon, the SimplyHealth Great North Run, for the Foundation.

Among the runners was Government Minister Alistair Burt MP and a number of Becky's HMG colleagues who have all been left inspired by her work and share her ambition for a kinder and safer world, including one colleague who travelled all the way from Lebanon. Also running was Rebecca’s mother and cousin.

The runners raised in excess of £70,000 on the day. These funds will go towards RDF’s project with KAFA and Christian Aid to protect women in Lebanon who are victims or at risk of gender-based violence through funding activities at safe shelters such as counselling and vocational training.

The fastest of Rebecca’s runners, Jonathan Henderson, completed the race in an impressive 1:17, placing him 55th overall!

After the race, a large number of runners and supporters gathered at The Cluny pub for a well-deserved post-run snack and drink. Music was provided by Rebecca’s cousin, DJ George Hartshorn.

It was a very special occasion where those close to Rebecca were brought together some nine months after her death not only to remember her but to raise money for a cause that she was passionate about.

The Foundation is incredibly proud of and grateful to its runners, and wishes them all the best in their recovery from the gruelling race.

The Great North Run was broadcast live on BBC One on 9 September, between 9:30 and 13:30. Some of Rebecca’s runners were interviewed just after 12:00.

Podcast concerning RDF's project with CA and KAFA

On 16 August 2018, RDF hosted a webinar with Christian Aid and KAFA at which supporters were invited to listen to those working on ground in Lebanon speak about RDF's first project. The speakers discussed the issue of sexual and gender-based violence in Lebanon, and the impact that the project was having on the lives of the beneficiaries of RDF's project. A podcast and slides can be found here.

Project Summary and Webinar

RDF is pleased to release a summary of our project with Christian Aid and Lebanese women's charity KAFA to protect women at risk of gender-based violence in Lebanon. It can be found by clicking here

RDF also invites its supporters to a lunchtime webinar on 16 August 2018 at which supporters can speak directly to locally-based staff about the challenge of gender-based violence in Lebanon, and the work of RDF's project to address this.

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Queen's Birthday Party, hosted by the British Embassy in Beirut

On 21 June 2018, the RDF team attended the spectacular Queen's Birthday Party celebrations in Lebanon organised by the British Embassy. RDF shared information about its work with a new audience. It also unveiled our collaboration with Beirut-based British artist, Tom Young, through the exhibition of some of his paintings from a beautiful new collection inspired by Rebecca's love of Lebanon and London. Those paintings are now on sale in support of RDF and will be exhibited at exhibitions in Beirut and London in the near future.

Rebecca Dykes Foundation announces recipient of its first funding project in Lebanon

RDF has announced the successful first round of applications for funding.

The winning project is a collaboration with Christian Aid and local women’s NGO KAFA and will work to protect victims of sexual and gender-based violence and to promote women’s empowerment at KAFA’s Shelter and Support Centre. The project will work with both Lebanese and Syrian women in the Lebanon.

The project will take place in Lebanon between June and December this year. The primary objective of the project is to ensure the long-term provision of protection services at KAFA’s safe Shelter in Mount Lebanon, a space dedicated to sexual and gender based violence survivors including victims of sex trafficking (the majority being Syrians and Lebanese), labour trafficking and emergency cases of domestic violence. This includes empowerment workshops, counselling for residents and improvements to facilities. The project will also secure women across Lebanon with access to a 24/7 emergency helpline.

Activities will also take place at KAFA’S Adolescent Friendly Space and Support Centre in the Bekaa region – a region hosting the biggest number of arriving refugees in the Lebanon since 2010. The collaborative project will include running group support activities and protection services for girls who are survivors or at high risk of sexual and gender based violence.

The RDF team have worked with Rebecca’s colleagues and project partners to identify where the funds raised can have the most impact, and best further the causes and values Rebecca held dear. A call for proposals was sent out to a number of potential project partners in April and the Foundation received a total of fifteen applications for funding.

Harriet Maes, Rebecca’s sister and founder of RDF says:

Rebecca was committed to humanitarian causes and she worked tirelessly to make the world a kinder, fairer, safer and more stable place. Her work in Lebanon was focused on improving the lives of refugees and impoverished Lebanese people, and helping these vulnerable communities to become more peaceful and resilient.  The Foundation team are committed to continuing that support and are hugely grateful for the donations which have allowed us to start this process in Rebecca’s honour.


Fundraising hike in collaboration with the Lebanon Mountain Trail Association at Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve, Lebanon

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Over 60 people from the The Lebanon Mountain Trail Association, Rebecca’s friends and colleagues from the British Embassy and representatives from the Ehden municipality gathered in the Horsh Eden Nature Reserve on Sunday, 29 April. A cedar tree was planted in the Reserve to remember Rebecca as well as the love she had for hiking and the trail. LMTA board member and the Head of Trade at the British Embassy said that Rebecca “served on behalf of her Majesty’s government helping lots of needy people, she went the extra mile and we remember her with this beautiful day”. Hikers then took part in a 20k hike to fundraise for the Foundation and all completed one of the most challenging sections in good time.

Beirut Marathon Association’s Women’s Race and post-run brunch

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On Sunday, 22 April, 40 friends of the Foundation took place in a 10k race in Beirut to raise money for RDF in collaboration with the Beirut Marathon Association. Runners and supporters gathered at a brunch kindly sponsored Kahwet Beirut. The Foundation was also offered generous gifts by a host of Lebanese organisations. A competitive and well-spirited auction (who knew so many men were so interested in beauty products!) saw 50 people battle it out for top prizes at some of Lebanon’s finest restaurants raising funds for the Foundation’s first project.