Living and working in London, it is impossible not to have some awareness of homelessness, but of course the people we see on the streets are only the tip of a very large iceberg of people who are homeless or vulnerably housed.
When my daughter started working for St Mungo's Broadway, I started to learn so much more about the multiple, complex issues that so many homeless people are facing, and the intensive, long term help that many people need to be able to move on to independent living. I also started to learn about the varied work of St Mungo's Broadway in its many different hostels, day centres and through "No Second Night Out", and the passion of their staff.
I love running and have done a few half marathons but never one as picturesque and iconic as the Royal Parks Half, which is notoriously difficult to get a place in. When I learnt that St Mungo's Broadway had charity places (whilst chatting to a member of Team St Mungo's at the London 10K that my husband and daughter ran for St Mungo's Broadway!) I knew that was what I wanted to do.
I received really good support and regular encouragement from the Community and Events team at St Mungo's Broadway and a fabulous running vest that is now my most treasured bit of running gear! My family put up with my running and my running mates are always happy to do some extra miles leading up to a half.
The sponsorship I received really overwhelmed me and encouraged me to give the half my all. Fundraising was easier than I thought; I did various things including sharing my JustGiving page with my friends and family, and a group of colleagues at work had brought in their unwanted clothing and held a small sale that raised £77.50 very quickly.
I wanted to do it in under 2 hours and achieved this with 15 seconds to spare! It was a perfect running day and lots of supporters were out along the route. Seeing all the charity runners made it all feel very special! Knowing that the St Mungo's Broadway team were out on the undoubtedly helped me round. I enjoyed every minute (well nearly!) of the event and would encourage anyone thinking of giving it a go to sign up and start getting that all important sponsorship! It's a great way to combine doing something really special for people who need so much help whilst also improving your own fitness and having the immense satisfaction of taking part in a beautiful half marathon. If you are a regular runner it's a good way to extend your distance a bit. If you are new to running it's a real challenge and so long as you give yourself a good 6 months to train you will do it!
A huge thank you to the staff at St Mungo's Broadway for their support and an even bigger thank you to all of those who supported me.
If Danielle has inspired you take up the challenge, find out more information here