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The Maidstone Malayalee Association in race to beat Covid 19

Doing any king of community event is difficult now with the tighter Covid restrictions, but the Maidstone Malayalee Association managed to squeeze one in before the latest regulations came into force.

Members and supporters completed a 5km run, leaving from The Heath playground in Barming, jogging through Barming Woods and back to The Heath.

Members of the Maidstone Malayalee Association undertake a 5km run to support MTW NHS charity
Members of the Maidstone Malayalee Association undertake a 5km run to support MTW NHS charity

Around 50 runners took part in socially distanced bubbles, setting off at different times throughout the day.

Their exertions raised £3,145 for the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust's charitable fund.

Many of the association’s members work at Maidstone Hospital and were inspired to take on the challenge after watching the trust’s CEO, Miles Scott, take on his marathon fundraiser as part of the ‘Go the Distance’ fundraising campaign.

All the money raised will go to support NHS staff's health and well-being during the Covid-19 response.

Praveen Ramakrishnan organised the event. He said: "It was great turn-out. Many of our members work at Maidstone Hospital – and we wanted to do our bit to support the staff at this challenging time.”

Members get ready for the off
Members get ready for the off

The Maidstone Malayalee Association is for people of Indian origin from the South West Indian State of Kerala, who speak the language Malayalam.

There are 60 families registered with the Maidstone association, with more than 200 people from the community working with the NHS at the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals.

The main purpose of the association is to provide support to families, to help new members integrate to Maidstone life while preserving traditional culture and art forms, and helping children to learn their mother tongue, Malayalam.

The association organises platforms for celebrating traditional and regional festivals like Onam and Christmas, where all families get together in regional attires to perform traditional arts and cultural performances.

Many of the runners work at Maidstone hospital
Many of the runners work at Maidstone hospital

You can visit the association's Facebook page here.

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