I'm writing this from the Good Chance dome in Paris. It's snowing outside, and we've opened our doors to anyone and everyone to take part in something life-affirming. To be able to be themselves, to feel like human beings again, whatever life has thrown at them. 

I'm running the Paris marathon on 8th April 2018 to raise money for Good Chance Theatre, because I see every day how much difference it makes to people's lives. It gives people hope in a situation where hope can be hard to come by. Last week, we were throwing ourselves around in lightsaber stage combat workshops, learning traditional dances from across the world, making music, writing poetry. This week, who knows, but we will laugh, sing, have fun together. And we will give more people a safe space in which they can be warm, be comfortable, and express themselves in whatever way they want.

Many of the refugees here are sleeping on the freezing streets. Or they're moving from house to house and don't know whether they'll have shelter from one day to the next. Every morning, men, women and children come through our doors to tell stories, or to forget those stories for a while and be anyone they want to be. They tell us that the theatre gives them a reason to smile again, a reason to get up in the morning. I'm proud to be part of that, and as a small charity I know that every donation to Good Chance, big or small, makes a huge difference. Every penny goes towards making people's lives better, when they are living in situations that most of us cannot even begin to imagine.

It's also a big personal challenge for me - I've never run more than a half marathon, and I think running the dome and running for marathon training simultaneously is going to be tough! 

So please give something if you can. Thank you.

Emily x

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P.S. Here is a poem written by Youseff, from Syria, one of our regular visitors to Good Chance Paris. He says it better than I ever could:

To the Good Chance team
We have found the love in this place
And we have found the family
And we have found sincere friends
And sincere smiles
Smiles that come from the heart
When this place closes, we will never forget you
Because your love will continue inside us
Because you gave hope to every refugee
Every refugee knows someone who cares about him
Thank you from all our hearts
We will tell all the world about this place
About the nice people we met here
And we will tell our children in the future
About your love, your humanity.