Karen has been selected to run this year’s London Marathon, which this year takes place on the 23rd April, through the open ballot.
Looking forward to the marathon, Karen said: “This will be my first time attempting the 26.2 mile distance, so it will be a real challenge for me. I am not a fast runner and completed my last half marathon race in 2 hours 40 minutes. I am just hoping to finish – I’m not worried about time but would like it to be under the 6 hour mark. My training is well under way. I have joined my local Parkrun group to keep me motivated and have planned some local 5k, 10k and half marathon races leading up to the big day.”
Karen is taking part in the marathon to raise funds for the local Atherton & Leigh Shelter for HoPe (HOmeless PEople). Her target is to raise £500. Asked why she has selected this charity, she said: “Anyone could find themselves in a situation that needs support and for many different reasons. Atherton & Leigh Shelter for HoPe is a homeless shelter that aims to provide emergency night time accommodation and a hot meal to people who have nowhere else to sleep. In 2017 they hope to open for five nights to start with, and will be looking to go full time in the very near future. For that reason they need to try and raise some funds in order to get the right building, set it up so that they can provide a safe, warm environment for guests, plus feed what they fear will be even more people than before. Any donations will help them to do this and will be gratefully received.”
If you would like to support Karen in raising money for the Atherton & Leigh Shelter for HoPe you can do so by visiting her MyDonate page, at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/karenkelly1
Atherton & Leigh Shelter for HoPe was set up to give homeless people a safe and warm place to sleep during the cold winter months. Starting in January 2015 with a pilot of two nights per week for eight weeks it was clear that this was a service that is needed. That gave the founders the encouragement to do it all again in 2016. They opened at the start of January, but this time for four nights per week and for 16 weeks during which time their volunteers looked after 83 different guests, providing them with a hot meal, hot drinks, conversation and of course over 400 good night’s sleep for people who may well have ended up on the streets in freezing conditions, plus a breakfast to see them on their way. People are referred to the charity by local professional care and homeless agencies, and the service is provided at no cost to either the user of the referring agency. Instead, the costs are met by donations and grants. They are not a housing outcome, but instead their provision is to meet the emergency need until their guests can be guided into a longer term housing provision. Kingdom has previously supported the work of this local charity by collecting items for them at their National Support Centre in Newton-le-Willows.
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