A MOTHER-of-three from Tockington has persuaded 30 friends and neighbours to run 10 kilometres to help raise money for those living in slums in Bangladesh.

Saffia Bullock, 37, was so moved by her visit to the Jheelpur Slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in February last year, that the writer has founded a new charity to raise £30,000.

"What I saw there has changed my perspective on life. Unable to walk away and pretend I’d not seen what I did, I shared my experiences with local friends, who have also been inspired to help.

"Together, we’ve started a charity, ARBAN UK, supporting an NGO (non-governmental organisation) in Bangladesh by fundraising for a healthcare project," she said.

ARBAN stands for Association for Realisation of Basic Needs, and the aim is to set up a health clinic in the Jheelpur Slum with a full-time doctor. The charity also hopes to be able to support a health worker and provide outreach to some of the 500 families who live there.

Saffia said: "Many of us involved are parents and we are very aware of the opportunities our children have that those in Bangladesh will never have. A day does not go by when our children don’t eat.

"We are able to take them to a doctor when they are ill. We have clean water and sanitation."

To help kickstart the fundraising Saffia has got 30 friends, family and neighbours, from Tockington, Oldbury, and Bristol, to sign up to next month’s Bristol 10k race, being held in the city on Sunday, May 15.

To help fundraising a Taste of Bangladesh evening is being held at Olveston Church on Saturday, May 21 (7.30pm) where people can taste Bangla inspired curries and hear more about Dhaka and the slum.

For more information or to sponsor the team visit www.arban.org.uk