In a little over a month’s time, on Sunday, May 27, hundreds of runners will line up for the start of the 2018 Roc Newbury 10k supported by The Good Exchange – the race formerly sponsored by Bayer – and one West Berkshire charity will take a special interest in cheering the runners on.

PALS, the West Berkshire organisation which supports children and young people with physical disabilities has been nominated, along with Newbury Athletic Club, as the race charity for 2018, and this has come as a real bonus to charity manager, Helen Randall.

Helen, along with three part-time coordinators and a host of willing volunteers, provides activities and residential experiences for children and young people aged five or over.
Helen says: “The kind of responses we get from parents are that it’s the first time their child has been able to access a social or physical activity without their parents tagging along, and that they can experience activities which they cannot do at home. We have one child with epilepsy who experienced his first ever weekend away from home without his parents, with us, and the look on his face at the end of the weekend made it truly worth all the effort!”

PALS (Partners for Active Leisure Scheme) runs a combination of outdoor and indoor activities, both physical and social, sometimes taking children on residential trips run by like-minded organisations, such as Ufton Court and PGL, which provides everything from zip wiring to abseiling, and sometimes doing activities as simple as meals out or movie nights.

She says: “It takes around £30,000 per year to run this charity – and that’s with all the brilliant volunteer help we receive. To have the 10k race support us is absolutely fantastic.

“For instance, £1,000 will pay for a weekend experience for children to be without Mum and Dad – such as an activity session at Ufton Court. Just £1,000 enables us to run our after-school club with hire of the hall for a number of weeks. We get a small amount from West Berkshire Council, but everything else has to be raised by donations and fundraising events.

“I really appreciate that some runners are doing the 10k race as a first-time activity, and when I hear some of the comments they’ve said on what motivates them, that’s when you realise how much they are taking themselves outside their comfort zones. There’s a real parallel with the kind of effort some of our youngsters make when they take part in activities with PALS for the first time.”

Helen and a small army of volunteers will be pitching up and handing out water as runners plod or sometimes sprint round the race route. And she will also be watching the children’s races with very special interest as a PALS member, who is a wheelchair user, will be taking part in the 900 metre race, with the aid of a ‘walker’ rather than in his wheelchair, and alongside his able-bodied brother.

“Like many of our activities, this 10k is an opportunity for people to do something they wouldn’t normally be able to do,” she says. “We’re keen for ‘our’ children to be involved in the 10k and junior races, because it’s so motivating for them. That’s the kind of thing that motivates me when I get up every morning – seeing their faces when they’ve previously thought it’s something they couldn’t do.”

In the meantime, there are just a few weeks to the Roc 10k supported by the Good Exchange, and its two junior races, run over 900 metres and 1500 metres. The organisers are reminding runners to get their entries in by going to the Newbury Athletic Club website where there are links to the official race entry form.

Runners and their supporters can fundraise for, and donate to PALS West Berkshire via The Good Exchange here ( – enter ‘PALS’ under the search tab) where every pound raised or donated will be doubled though match funding.

About Roc Technologies: Roc is an award-winning provider of transformation solutions and managed services. Roc enables large organisations to successfully transform through its unique Process, Projects and Technology capabilities. From process discovery and optimisation to the provision of Cloud services, Networks, Cyber Security, and Unified Communications Roc helps customers to deliver on their digital transformation objectives. Roc has been praised for its vision and culture, and has a strong track record of growth. It was winner of the Bayer 2014 Business of the Year award at the West Berkshire Business Awards.

About The Good Exchange: The Good Exchange is a transformational not-for-profit cloud platform specifically designed to match those organisations and individuals who have money to give to good causes with those who need it most; on a local, regional and national basis. As the only platform to bring together grant-making, donations, charitable projects and fundraising in one place, the automated matching system with its simple single on-line application form will revolutionise charitable giving, making it more accessible, transparent and collaborative. For the first time, those seeking to raise money for local good causes will be able to access all sources of funding including charitable trusts, corporate givers, fundraisers and public through a single process.