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The Society of St James

Southampton’s homeless charity seeks runners for upcoming city Marathon

Southampton’s local homeless charity SSJ is recruiting members to join its Team SSJ for Southampton’s Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 10k race in April.

The Society of St James (SSJ) is Hampshire’s homeless charity, which has provided accommodation and support to over 2500 people each year, since 1972.

The charity is looking for people to take up the challenge of three of Southampton’s upcoming races in April. Every penny raised in sponsorship will help local people facing homelessness.

Last year, 30 runners took part in helping SSJ and raised a total of £6,200; the equivalent of around 180 nights’ accommodation for vulnerable people. SSJ works with diverse and complex issues related to homelessness including substance/alcohol addiction and mental health problems. The charity also offers a range of services that provides supported housing for homeless people, drug services throughout Hampshire, Jamie’s Computers, a social enterprise, and a specialist residential care home.

David Kinsella, who ran the Half-Marathon last year is one person who has benefited from the individual support provided by SSJ and is on the road to recovery.

“The Society of St James helped me when I felt helpless. I had reached rock bottom but with their help, I have been able to turn my life around, the difference couldn’t be more marked. I am totally indebted to SSJ for their help and for giving me hope when I had none. I wanted to give something back and do something challenging that would help with my recovery.”

He adds: “The support on the way round and finishing the run gave me a great sense of achievement and belief in myself which helped enormously with my recovery. Being able to do that while helping the Society that helped me, added considerably to that. I was informed later that I was the top fundraiser for SSJ for the half marathon. I was so happy that I had been able to in a small way and thank the charity for its help.”

If you would like to join Team SSJ for one of this year’s races there are discounted charity places available for each marathon. A £15, non-refundable, deposit is required to secure your place and SSJ asks that each runner commits to raising a minimum of £150 in sponsorship. Every penny raised will have a great impact on local people facing homelessness.

SSJ are also recruiting ‘Milemakers’ for race day to help encourage runners up and over the Itchen Bridge. For more information, or to join the team, please visit: http://www.ssj.org.uk/abp-soton-marathon-17/

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