This weekend sees the last chance to sign up for the annual challenge to get a bit fitter while helping homeless people in Swindon.
RunVEMBER, the brain-child of Wootton Bassett resident Alan Butler, differs from many activity challenges in two ways. First, it is suitable for those of all fitness levels and abilities, because it simply asks people to pledge a minimum daily distance that they will run, swim, cycle or walk, be that one mile or 50 miles. The key requirement is that those taking part commit to doing the exercise they have pledged every day during November.
The second difference is that there is no sponsorship involved. Instead, RunVEMBERists are asked to place an item that would be useful to a homeless person, such as a tin of soup or a pair of gloves, in a RunVEMBER box each day.
The filled boxes will be sorted at the beginning of December and the contents distributed between four charities that care for homeless people, including Threshold Housing Link in Swindon.
Keen runner Alan founded RunVEMBER six years ago, after being shocked at the number of rough sleepers and homeless people he passed in Swindon on his winter runs.
“I became determined to make a difference to those people who don’t have the things that most of us take for granted, like a roof over our heads, a bed and hot food,” said Alan.
“It started with some running friends and groups that I know, but we soon expanded it out to the whole community. The beauty of this is you can this with a club or a group of friends, or have fun with workmates, or you can do it entire alone. Some people go for a swim after work, others cycle say five miles on an exercise bike at home, but they all make it part of their everyday lives for 30 days.
“And there’s none of the embarrassment of asking friends and family to put their hands in their pockets and sponsor yet another challenge. I know people do get sponsorship fatigue, and it’s understandable when there are so many good causes out there. But this way you just pop some non-perishable food into your shopping trolley, or clear out unused sleeping bag from the back of your wardrobe, and you’ve potentially helped someone have a better day and night.”
Registration for RunVEMBER closes at midnight on Sunday 28 October. Once people have registered they can collect their RunVEMBER boxes from the Sun Inn car park, Coate between 8.30am and 11am today
To register, go to www.entrycentral.com and type Hrh’s RunVEMBER into the search bar .
For more information go to runvember.co.uk