Brothers in Arms, Feet in Action: Running for Refugees


Brothers in Arms, Feet in Action: Running for Refugees

Meet the brothers taking on the London Marathon for JRS UK this year!

12 March 2024

Brothers in Arms, Feet in Action: Running for Refugees

On April 21st, a team of 28 will put their running skills to the test and run the London Marathon in aid of JRS. Two of these runners will be brothers from Worcestershire, Anthony and Colm Fahy. Whilst this will be Anthony’s second marathon, for Colm it will be his first. So what led to the undertaking of this monumental challenge?

“When I was at school I used to love running, but since then I’ve pretty much been on ‘hiatus’, until last September when I took it up again. Soon after I got a one-word text from Anthony saying ‘marathon?’ The rest, as they say, is history!”

Choosing a cause to run for was obvious; “Having attended a Jesuit School, it came as a reward to have obtained my first job out of university working for the Society, and continuing that path, I am now working in Brussels since September 2023 for JESC (Jesuit European Social Centre) where we share a building with JRS-Europe. So, although I have always been aware of JRS, it has been nice to learn more about their work over these past months” shares Colm.

For Anthony, the opportunity to raise money for refugees was inspired by an encounter in Vietnam. “When I was travelling across Asia, I witnessed, on plenty of occasions, poverty due to forced migration, and was made aware of the unfortunate status which refugees often have. It was however a chance conversation I had in Vietnam with a friend of one of the Essex lorry driver casualties that the plight of refugees became real.”

Only a few months before, 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in the trailer of a lorry in Essex. They’d tragically died whilst being smuggled to the UK. “Whilst I had always been concerned about refugee crises, it was not until this point that I had made the connection between refugee emergencies overseas and its ties to my own home country.”

“So, when I learnt about the good work that JRS does in the UK I knew that this was a cause I wanted to fundraise for. This was further solidified when I learnt that the establishment of JRS in 1980 was a direct response to the influx of Vietnamese boat refugees escaping their homeland in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.”

Regarding the training, it has not been an easy ride for both brothers! “I learnt the hard way that it’s just as important to warm down as it is to warm up when the back spasms started” tells Colm, as Anthony recovers from a calf injury. With under three months to go, does sibling rivalry play a part in motivating them?

“Well, Anthony was always a far better cricketer, so I’d like to think that when we swap the spikes for the running shoes, it’ll be my time to prevail.” Anthony is not too persuaded in response; “We’ll have to see about that!”

You can sponsor Anthony and Colm by donating to their JustGiving pages here.

Donate to their JustGiving

Your support is an appreciated token of solidarity with the refugees we support as well as a way of encouraging these daring brothers in their upcoming challenge!

A shorter version of this piece was originally published in Together Spring 2024. Meet other Marathon runners & read more news from JRS UK:

JRS UK Together Newsletter

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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