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Take part in the Redbridge fun run and help fight homelessness

PUBLISHED: 17:10 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:20 14 March 2017

The run will help raise money for the charity's Welcome Project.

The run will help raise money for the charity's Welcome Project.

Archant

Hundreds of runners from Redbridge are expected to join in the first Mayor’s Annual Family Fun Run next month whilst helping to raise money for local causes.

Each year the mayor selects one or more charities to support. Money raised by people taking part in the Ilford town centre fun run on April 2 – being supported by the Recorder – will be divided between the three chosen this year by Cllr Gurdial Bhamra.

One is the Healthy Living Projects’ (HLP) Welcome Project, which provides essential services for rough sleepers.

Cllr Bhamra said: “They do a wonderful job, they are dedicated people that want to make a difference. Those people that are willing to do training and pick up a skill, we can help them move on, that’s why I chose the project.

“One chap has become a carpenter and another chap I know, he served in Iraq but unfortunately became homeless. Now he is working as a trainee bricklayer.”

The Welcome Project helps to find accommodation for rough sleepers, offers training for employment, runs daytime activities and day trips out to help them to turn their lives around.

Sonia Lynch, manager of HLP’s Welcome Centre, in St Mary’s Road, Ilford, has worked for the charity for 11 years and said the problem of homelessness has grown in the past three years.

She said: “The welfare reforms around benefits and the lack of affordable housing has been really hard. When people are homeless it’s not just that there are underlying issues.

“Some people have been working, lost their job and can’t find anywhere else to live because they haven’t got any family members, or have exhausted all their friends’ sofas, and find themselves out on the streets. Especially if they’re single young men that are fit and healthy there’s no support for them.”

Sonia and some of her colleagues will be taking part in the run.

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