The running charity
Runners united in the face
of youth homelessness

Find out more

The Issue

Alone we can do so little
Together we can do so much

In the UK alone, 80,000 young people aged 16 to 24 experience homelessness each year. Homelessness deeply impacts both the young person affected and the wider-society.

Without the support that so many of us take for granted, becoming a young adult can be extremely daunting. Homeless youths often lack confidence, motivation and a sense of purpose which negatively affects their mental health. There is a strong association between homelessness and a withdrawal from education, employment or training.

Our Mission

Fit for a purpose

Running is as good for your mind as it is for your body. That's why we created the UK's first running-orientated programme for homeless and vulnerable young people. Engaging them in regular running-based activities with qualified fitness professionals, we harness the underlying benefits as a powerful motivational tool.

Using running, we're able to instil a positive mindset – fundamental in the path towards a healthy and productive lifestyle. It empowers and instils confidence; participants become more resilient and optimistic. By dispelling the negativity that hinders their progression, we're able to support more homeless young people in achieving life-changing and sustainable outcomes.

We partner with existing homeless charities, providing a diverse training programme that ensures we facilitate high levels of engagement. Young people receive quality sportswear and take part in varied fitness sessions three days a week, as well as public running events. Our flexible approach ensures that no one is excluded, that barriers to participation are removed and we're able to ensure each member makes the successful transition from homelessness to a secure and prosperous future.

Since 2012 we've helped over 170 homeless young people and saved the UK tax payer in excess of £6.9million

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  • Case Studies


    Claude originally came to the UK as a boy fleeing the Rwandan Genocide. He was homeless for eight months, seeking refuge on night buses and in homeless shelters before enrolling on our pilot programme at New Horizon Youth Centre.

    Overcoming fitness goals helped Claude find much-needed confidence. With our support, he applied a similar goal-orientated approach to his career. After six months with us, Claude graduated with a Personal Training certificate and became a lead instructor with The Running Charity. Claude also works two jobs and lives in rented accommodation. Claude is now a full-time member of staff, responsible for our London-based programmes and volunteers.

  • Case Studies


    Peter had lost his job and with no savings, soon found himself homeless which destroyed his self-esteem. He was enrolled on our pilot programme at New Horizon Youth Centre and found solace in a new group of friends, united in their journey, who inspired and supported each other every step of the way.

    Seeing himself progress physically helped Peter to rebuild his confidence and taught him to be more disciplined. He now has a full-time job, studies part-time and has long-term housing.

  • Case Studies


    Emmanuel moved to the UK as a child to live with his Mother. Following a family breakdown, he was left homeless. He spent 13 months sleeping rough before enrolling on our programme.

    Soon after, he found work, but was forced to leave when his visa expired. We signed Emmanuel up for the Oxford Half Marathon and encouraged him to fundraise. He completed the run and with enough sponsorship, was able to apply for a new visa. His application was successful and he was granted indefinite citizenship in the UK. Emmanuel is now working again and lives in secure accommodation.

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Our Patron

"Sport is the greatest passion in my life and has played such an important role in shaping me as a person. It's given me discipline, focus and the confidence to believe in myself. All young people deserve equal opportunities and for those socially-marginalised, fitness can be pivotal.

Creating positive and sustainable change takes time; what I love about The Running Charity is its uncomprimised commitment to each participant."

Colin Jackson CBE

Get Involved

We need your help!

Following the overwhelming success of our London-based programmes, we've received a huge demand for our services across the UK. We're now aiming to expand in order to help thousands more young people get back on their feet and transform their lives through running – we can only do this with your support!

We need volunteers across the UK to support running sessions in new locations, as well as vital funds to aid our expansion.