I am running the Manchester Half Marathon in aid of Homes of Hope, who are backed by King's Church in Greater Manchester.
Homelessness is a growing and increasingly visible issue in Manchester and the UK. Homes of Hope are an organisation that work comprehensively and compassionately to help those facing this situation, address the underlying problems and move forwards in life. They work with people who are sleeping rough or facing homelessness and who may have life-controlling issues such as addictions, mental health issues and other problems. Homes of Hope provide a quality, safe and comfortable family style home in the community for up to two years, where residents are given the space, care and support to begin their recovery journeys.
I moved in to Homes of Hope's Wythenshawe home a year ago after becoming homeless and sleeping rough in Salford when I failed to complete a masters degree due to problems with addiction and mental health that I had not successfully addressed. It has been a busy and life changing year for me. Whilst here I have been able to complete a reduction (RAMP) and detox programme, 5 months community rehabilitation (DEAP), delivered a workshop in a local primary school (LAB project), courses in health and social care, counselling, social and employment skills (Focus & Fly), regularly attended twelve step mutual aid groups and started volunteering with an addiction treatment service. I have been able to regrow my family relationships, build a network of new friends in recovery and walk my sister down the aisle at her wedding. I can now start to get my confidence back and feel hopeful for the future. I have been able to get active in the local community and attend weekly exercise groups and Wythenshawe ParkRun every Saturday. Living in this Homes of Hope home has allowed me to do all these things.
A year ago I would break a sweat going to the local shops, since living here I have been able to run in a 10k and now enter this half marathon - the longest distance I will have travelled by foot!
As with most things I've left it a bit last minute, just under two weeks to go. Please consider donating generously so Homes of Hope can continue their great work. Any donations go fully to Homes of Hope via King's Church in Greater Manchester.
For more info: www.homesofhope.co.uk