Homelessness can happen to anyone – even an international sprinter. You may have read this week about top Sierra Leone athlete, Jimmy Thoronka, who was found sleeping rough on the streets of London after being afraid to return to his home country where his family have been decimated by Ebola.
Although most homeless people are not international sprinters, the pattern is all too familiar: a history of bereavements, losses and trauma, often taking to the streets to escape from something worse, resulting in malnutrition, depression and suicidal thoughts.
I’m privileged and proud to be associated with Seaview Project, a Hastings-based charity with “an open access wellbeing centre offering help and inspiration for people living on society’s margins”.
Seaview helps homeless people to get re-housed and back on their feet.
Their “range of support services help marginalised people with addiction problems, mental health issues, ex- and at-risk offenders and rough sleepers achieve personal growth and fulfilment” (taken from Seaview’s website).
Most homeless people are forced by a vicious circle of life’s circumstances on to the streets.
A few choose homelessness for a variety of reasons. I was someone who was attracted to life on the road and the streets because I was rootless – spiritually and emotionally homeless – like many of the physically homeless people I meet.
You can read how my life turned around when I found a spiritual home in My Life’s Soundtrack.
My clients often tell me that Seaview is a ‘lifeline’ or a ‘life-saver’ to them. It literally is.
Like all charities, Seaview is dependent on the generosity and support of people like you and me to keep going.
You may know I’m a seasoned Half Marathon runner, so you may be thinking, “Why should I sponsor you to do what you normally do anyway?”
Well, training has been a huge struggle this year. With one cold after another this winter, a heavy workload and the demands of family life, my running’s dropped to once or twice a week – some weeks not running at all. I’ve gained half a stone, my pace has slowed right down and I’ve struggled to do the distance. So, another good reason to sponsor me, maybe?
In 2014, I ran the Hastings Half Marathon in just under 1 hour 34 minutes. This year, I’m more likely to take about 1:40. With less than 2 weeks to go (as I write this), and colds hopefully behind me, I’m trying to cram in some last minute speed training. If you sponsor me, would you also consider increasing your donation after the event if I succeed in finishing in under 1:35???
Most importantly, the best reason to sponsor me in this year’s Hastings Half Marathon is because it’s for Seaview, a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.