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Redbridge’s Sikhs in the City running club gains charity status and aims to raise funds for clubhouse

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 September 2018

Harmander Singh will run alongside the cyclists with running group Sikhs in the City. Photo credit: Ellie Hoskins

Harmander Singh will run alongside the cyclists with running group Sikhs in the City. Photo credit: Ellie Hoskins

Archant

A tireless Ilford running club has gained charity status and has sets its sights on building its own clubhouse to help the community.

One-hundred-and-five-year-old Fauja Singh poses lent his support to Sikhs In The City's annual Dawn to Dusk Race.One-hundred-and-five-year-old Fauja Singh poses lent his support to Sikhs In The City's annual Dawn to Dusk Race.

Sikhs in the City, based in Wellesley Road, was awarded charity status on August 21 and is set to launch a crowdfunding campaign on October 1 aiming to raise £400,000 to make its clubhouse a reality.

The charity’s president Harmander Singh, who has completed more than 100 marathons, said: “It will have a restricted covenant to ensure it is only for community use, for leisure use, educational use and no alcohol can be sold or consumed on the premises.”

He added: “It will be for day time use where people can hire it out at the lowest cost possible - we will make sure we are not a profit making organisation.”

He spoke of a current dearth of affordable spaces for community groups to hire for meetings and envisaged that the building will be used by the elderly and for yoga, among other purposes.

The building will be named after the world’s oldest marathon runner Fauja Singh, a Goodmayes resident, who will turn 108 in April next year.

Harmander added: “It will be our way of honouring him for all the charitable work he has done over the years.”

The architectural design of the building is currently being consulted on by members, Harmander assuring that “it will be sympathetic” to the surrounding area.

He highlighted that the building will also be eco-friendly, making use of solar panels, and its exact location is to be confirmed.

The running club has a large number of challenge events in store to help raise funds.

On December 16, the charity will be holding its “Dawn to Dusk Ultra” – a multi-lap race where runners can either run a half marathon, full marathon or ultra marathon each - starting at sunrise and finishing at sunset.

It will also be holding a peace marathon in the week prior to Rememberance Sunday (November 11).

Sikhs in the City was formed more than 10 years ago by five octogenarians known as the ‘Golden Oldies’.

To volunteer with the charity or to donate email info@sikhsinthecity.org

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