This is urgent. Seyfu, a regular in our parkrun top 10 and valued member of the British running community needs your help. 

A petition has been started by the Running Charity to send directly to the home office to appeal against Seyfu’s proposed deportation. It takes very little time to sign and share with others in your community. 

The Home Office accept that Seyfu is a victim of human trafficking. On top of this, Ethiopia have just declared a state of emergency. Yet, Seyfu currently faces being sent back to Ethiopia where his community experiences political turmoil and persecution.

Seyfu’s journey to the UK was a sad and traumatic one, experiencing the horrors of trafficking and torture, he finally arrived in the UK aged just 17.

The Running Charity

Alone and without his family or a support network, Seyfu was referred by the British Red Cross to a mental health charity that specialises in working with young people who have traumatic pasts or are affected by homelessness. Once he was with The Running Charity, Seyfu quickly became one of the charity’s most committed and popular runners.

The peer support and community he found enabled him to build a foundation, improve his mental health and pursue the one thing that makes him feel free, running.

In June 2019, Seyfu won the London Landmarks Half Marathon, with a course record 01:08:14 and has since brought that PB down to an excellent 66:05 and broken 15 minutes at both parkrun and in road racing too. It’s very common to see Seyfu featured highly in our top 10 parkrun articles.

His ambition is to run and represent Team GB. Seyfu is more than just a talented runner and has found a legitimate home within the running community in the UK. It is no exaggeration to say his membership of the running community has become critical to his mental well being. Members of our community would be extremely concerned were Seyfu to be removed from his de facto family.

A valued member of the community

As captain of his local running club and a mentor to other young people within The Running Charity, Seyfu spends his days helping to integrate other young refugees that experience homelessness into the support programmes.

Despite these incredible strides forward Seyfu has been living under huge uncertainty and recently his asylum application was rejected by the Home Office. He is currently appealing this decision, submitting that it is not safe for him to return home.

Seyfu needs your help! We are asking you to sign this petition, which we will put before the Immigration Judge presiding over his appeal.

Help us say unanimously that the running community is behind Seyfu, that he is an important part of a supportive community and an inspiration to every one of us that run to improve our own mental health and life.

If you can take the time to sign the petition and share with others the link is here.