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HARP, Southend’s homeless charity, is calling on local people who love running – or want to start running – to take on a challenge in solidarity with homeless people in Southend.
HARP has 10 places in the Vitality Big Half and five places in the Vitality London 10,000 in 2020, and is inviting applications from local runners to take part and raise money for their work with homeless people in Southend.
Warren Kelly, from Shoeburyness, ran the Vitality Big Half for HARP in 2019.
He said: “I had just started to get into running after taking it up for fitness reasons, and heard that HARP were looking for runners to represent them in the London Marathon and Vitality half.
“I had read about all of the fantastic work HARP does for homeless people in the Southend area. It is hugely encouraging to see a group of people working together for such an important cause and I wanted to try and raise as much money as possible for them.”
He continued: “There are so many different reasons that people end up homeless and the stigma attached to a person who has become homeless has to be eradicated.
“It is important to me that people understand that there is help out there, with good people and caring organisations such as HARP that offer an alternative.”
HARP supports homeless people to get off the streets for good, as well as helping people at risk of losing their homes to avoid becoming homeless in the first place. From rough sleeper breakfasts and emergency accommodation through to counselling and training in budgeting and employment skills, HARP covers the full spectrum of the homelessness journey, treating each person as an individual.
“Whether you’re a running enthusiast or an aspiring runner, we’d love to hear from you,” says Dina Jobson. HARP’s Fundraising Manager.
“Challenges like this are a fun way to support HARP and get ‘running fit’. It could also make up a fun part of your training plan if you’re training for a bigger event like a marathon or ultra-marathon.”
You can find our more about both races and apply for a place on the HARP website at: www.harpsouthend.org.uk/runforharp