Homelessness can happen at any time and to anyone. And when it happens to a young person it can affect them for the rest of their life. At least 83,000 young people in the UK are homeless right now and, with homeless young people almost twice as likely to die as their non-homeless peers, there is an urgent need to push for change.
We believe that running builds resilience, confidence and self-esteem and use this to improve the lives of 16-25 year-olds who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
We know that running builds the fitness and goal-setting mentality that are key tools to help these young people to build healthy, sustainable futures. And develop and deliver personalised programmes to support some of the most vulnerable young people in London and Manchester.
Gender should never be a barrier to sport and I will hold that belief with me as I run through the incredible city of London.
Zamzam was one of two athletes representing her native Somalia at London 2012, competing in the Women’s 400m. She became a refugee after receiving threats to her life just because of her belief that women could, and should be able to, compete in sport on an equal footing with men.
She was housed in a hostel for homeless young people whose staff introduced her to The Running Charity. We were immediately struck by Zamzam’s passion for running. It wasn’t long before Zamzam found employment, moved away from her hostel and moved into private rented accommodation. In order to maintain our support, The Running Charity paired Zamzam up with one of our mentors, who continued our work with her.
Zamzam is a powerful and inspiring voice for women in sport and The Running Charity is proud to play a small but significant part in her story. She ran the London Marathon in 2017 to raise funds for The Running Charity. If you want to donate to her inspiring story click here.
The work we do would not be possible without our supporters, and there are many ways that you too can get involved. Whether you volunteer directly with us, put forward your company as one of our partners, or fundraise for us in a sponsored run or event, it all helps to make a positive impact on the lives of homeless young people.