Chronicles

Police officer running 48 miles in two days to help feed homeless this Christmas

A police officer is running 48 miles in two days to raise vital funds to help provide the homeless with a Christmas meal.

Sean Anderson is taking on four miles every four hours in what he admits to being mentally the hardest challenge he has ever faced.

The 37-year-old started running at 6pm on Saturday and has already had to endure a sleepless night, torrential rain and aching joints, but insists it is worth it for a good cause.

The Northumbria Police officer is fundraising for North East Homeless – a charity which hosts a special meal for those most in need each year on Christmas Eve at Newcastle’s Central Station.

Coronavirus restrictions mean the unique event cannot go ahead this year, but North East Homeless will instead deliver the Christmas dinners on the streets.

Sean said: “I’ve previously worked in Newcastle city centre and seen first hand people who are in crisis and I always try to do my bit to help out. I count my blessings that I’ve got a house and a job and don’t take things for granted.

“More people are in crisis as a result of the pandemic after losing their jobs and Universal Credit being delayed so I wanted to push even harder to help those in need.

People sleeping rough in Newcastle city centre

“I started running at 6pm on Saturday and it was really difficult last night. I’ve not slept and I kept feeling sick so I couldn’t eat to recharge the batteries.

“I was feeling a bit low at one point with it lashing down with rain but I’ve seen the support on the page which has really pushed me on.

“I’m definitely not a runner. I don’t like running on hard surfaces and the way it impacts the joints. This is mentally the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

“But the North East Homeless initiative costs less than £5 for a Christmas meal and this money will go a long way to helping those less fortunate.”

The father-of-two is mixing his routes from his Whitley Bay home including to Tynemouth Pool and the Spanish City.

Sean says has been left overwhelmed after raising more than £1,000 on his JustGiving page, smashing his initial target of £250.

Kitchen fitters Howdens has also agreed to sponsor him by donating £250 to the cause.

Sean said: “The support has been unbelievable, especially considering the year everyone has had and that it’s just before Christmas. There’s people donating who I’ve not spoken to in years.

“This money is going to make a big difference to people’s lives.”

To donate, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sean-anderson-754

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