'I felt I needed to do something': Barkingside councillor runs 260km to raise funds for homeless charities
PUBLISHED: 10:39 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:39 10 October 2019
A Redbridge councillor ran 260km in one year to raise funds for homeless charities and raise awareness of the growing number of rough sleepers in the borough.
Barkingside councillor Khaled Noor set himself the personal challenge last year and completed his weekly 5km runs on September 29.
To mark the milestone, Redbridge mayor Councillor Zulfiqar Hussain joined him at Seven Kings Park to congratulate him.
Speaking on the mammoth challenge he set himself, he said: "I have been greatly disturbed to see the rise in homeless people sleeping rough in Redbridge.
"Redbridge is one of the wealthiest boroughs in London, yet there are people still sleeping on streets.
"As I go about my daily routine, sometimes I see people sleeping rough in the Newbury Park underpass or under the bride near Ilford town centre or by Seven Kings Station.
"It has been reported that a number of rough sleepers had died within the borough in the past few years."
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"As promised, I am very pleased that I have completed my 5km weekly running challenge for a year.
"However, personally it has been a challenging and a difficult journey for me.
"I have managed to continue running while fasting for Ramadan, on Eid day and in all-weather conditions for the past year.
"The winter season is especially a very difficult period for the homeless community, many of whom with no recourse to public funds and cannot access benefits, homelessness assistance from the council. They are vulnerable and destitute."
By the end of his fundraising journey, Cllr Noor had raised £1,200 for Redbridge Together and Ilford Salvation Army.
He added: "As a local resident, I feel a sense of moral responsibility to do whatever I can to help.
"I felt I needed to do something, I couldn't just turn a blind eye to the situation. It might not be solved overnight but if we all come together, we can find a solution for the long term."
To continue the legacy of his charity run, Cllr Noor has launched a new running club called Jogging 4 Healthy Living, which was officially opened by Cllr Hussain at the end of his final run.