REDDITCH bricklayer Stephen Willis has been building up the miles ready to take on Sunday’s London Marathon to raise funds for the town’s Nightstop, writes Catherine Reston.
The married 40-year-old dad-of-two has been running for the past two years.
With Sunday expected to be scorching, he expressed concern over running in warmer weather after training in the cold conditions Redditch has experienced over the last couple of months.
During his training, Stephen ran the Ironbridge Half Marathon, coming 39th of 300 runners, and completed up to 22 miles in a single training session.
Redditch Nightstop is a charity which provides emergency accommodation and support to 16 to 25-year-olds in need.
“It’s a local charity and a really good cause,” said Stephen.
Since being founded in Leeds in 1987, Nightstop has expanded to a network of 33 services across the UK, providing temporary accommodation for those who have been forced to leave home and are at risk of becoming homeless.
It operates through a network of dedicated and vetted volunteers within local areas.
Susan Sadler, project manager at Redditch Nightstop, has been working with the charity for 11 years.
“The money Stephen raises will go towards the continuation of services, like emergency accommodation and the accredited learning courses we run,” she said.
The charity helps young people develop life skills, budgeting, CVs and healthy eating so they can become more independent and they can also contact Nightstop for issues such as lost ID.
“We let them know they can come back to us. It’s about preventing that cyclical homelessness from recurring,” said Susan.
To support Stephen, visit Virgin Money Giving online and put in Redditch Nightstop in the search box.
So far he has raised £1,156.31 of his target of £1,500. For more information on Redditch Nightstop, call 01527 66036 or visit them online.
To boost Stephen’s total, click here