Teams that took part in this year’s Run 4 Home in aid of Threshold Housing Link raised over £2000 in sponsorship money.
Some of the money was used to refurbish the beds in Threshold Housing Link’s emergency hostel for single homeless men
Representatives of the teams were at Culvery Court to receive the delivery of mattresses which had been purchased with some of the sponsorship money.
Colin Arch, a Threshold Trustee was joined by teamsters Terry Dixon and Matt Walker from the team “Tezzers All Stars” and Gary Allbright from “Thresholds Thrashers” to accept the twenty mattresses at Culvery Court, Threshold’s direct access hostel for the homeless in Harding Street, Swindon.
The purchase and delivery of the new mattresses was enabled by the efforts and support from the Run 4 Home participants, family, friends and work colleagues.
Terry Dixon said “The Run 4 Home is a relay race where teams of between 9 and 14 people each run or cycle a leg of the route for an hour, covering between 5 and 9 miles in each leg, whilst raising sponsorship for the charity. It is a fantastic event that winds its way through some of the prettiest countryside, villages and settings along the Thames pathway and up and over the Ridgeway. I thoroughly enjoy taking part each year, often doing two legs of the route myself.”
The event was inspired by the story of Andrew, a former Culvery Court resident and ex-RAF man, who had been homeless in Swindon after leaving the service and following a family relationship breakdown. He had left the town to try to find work in London but was unsuccessful and became depressed, finally contemplating taking his life from a bridge in London. Fortunately he was helped by a passer-by, who suggested he returned to Swindon and encouraged him to make contact with Threshold Housing Link for some help.
The R4H route follows his journey back home along the scenic route of the Thames pathway from Runneymede, where the RAF memorial is situated, back to Swindon, where he began to rebuild his life with the help of the charity.
Colin Arch, also a “Broome Manor Joggers” team member and a Threshold Trustee said “The generosity of everyone who sponsored a runner or cyclist is admirable and every penny raised goes directly into frontline services, helping to improve homeless people’s surroundings and the environment within the hostels.
"Some of the money raised has been used to replace essential equipment such as these mattresses in the hostel because, as you can imagine, with over 250 people being accommodated each year in Culvery Court, they have quite a lot of use. Other mattresses and bedding such as quilts, pillows and sheets will also be purchased for this and some of the other longer stay hostels that we operate”.
Gary Allbright who ran for “Threshold Thrashers” said: “Because each leg of the race is broken down into hourly slots a lot of people with different abilities can take part, do their bit and then either go home if they wish to or stay on and go from checkpoint to checkpoint, helping support the teams throughout the day.
"Then everyone gets together at the end of the event to celebrate the day, talk about the funny things that happened along the way such as getting lost or being cheered on through the towns and villages etc. It’s great and a good way to create team spirit with work colleagues and friends whilst enjoying yourself and helping a local charity at the same time”.
The event and “Home Coming” party at the end of the Run 4 Home is sponsored by James Arkell, a long time patron of Threshold and Alex Arkell, Master Brewer of Arkells Brewery.
The Kingsdown in Upper Stratton hosts the “Home Coming” party and Cher Sawyer Smith, Thresholds CEO said “The support we have from our sponsors is fantastic and much appreciated. Liz and John Macgregor who manage The Kingsdown provide us with a sumptuous buffet each year, in a terrific atmosphere, which is really a great finish to the day and enables us to present the coveted trophy to the winning team, which this year was won by Colin’s Team, “The Broome Manor Joggers”. A big thank you goes out to everyone who participated and supported the Run 4 Home and Threshold”.
Next year’s event is already planned and will take place on Saturday 14 May 2014. People can register their interest now by phoning Threshold on Swindon 01793 524661 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Can’t take part but wish to support Threshold Housing Link? Well you can by making a text donation from your phone; just text to 70070 – THRS01 followed by the amount you wish to donate in the format £X (e.g. “THRS01 £5” to 70070), or go online to make your donation via www.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/thl