I've been telling people at work about the 100 miler recently, and most of them have been impressed, although of course, they all think I'm crazy for even considering it! One question I've been asked a lot though, is whether I'm doing the run for charity. I've been saying that I'm not, that I'm just running it for me, but actually, if people are interested in sponsoring me for my run, then I've decided, why not?! Surely I should take advantage of their generosity, and raise some money for an organisation that I think would be a really worthwhile recipient.
So, I'm now going to be taking part in the Thames Path 100 to raise money for charity, and I've decided that I'd like to support Centrepoint, the UK's leading charity for homeless young people.
Centrepoint provides housing and support for more than 1000 young people, aged 16-25, every year, helping them into work and a home of their own. The reason I've chosen them is two-fold:-
Firstly, back in the day when I had a much more chaotic life than I do now, and made very bad choices, had it not been for the support of my family, I could have very easily ended up homeless and I have always been aware of just how close I got and how incredibly lucky I am that they were there for me to bail me out with the rent money again, or to take me back home when it all went wrong. I understand only too well how life can turn upside down, even for someone like me - I was a loved and lucky teenager with a world of support and opportunity. I can't imagine how difficult life can be for children who come from less fortunate backgrounds, or from abusive homes, and how they manage when they end up alone in the terrifying position of having to survive on the streets.
The second reason for choosing Centrepoint is that I will be running through the night during the 100 miler, and when I start to moan about how cold it is, or how I don't like being out in the pitch black, I will think of the thousands of people who every night have to cope with being out all night, because they have no other choice and no home to go to, and I will buckle down and get the job done, knowing that I am supporting at least a few of those people and knowing that I've raised will be making life a little less challenging for them.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post and please dig deep if you'd like to sponsor me, and help make a real and lasting difference to the lives of homeless young people.