An aerial shot of people running a race.
Photo courtesy of Mārtiņš Zemlickis/

Organizations that work with homeless people in the South West of the UK are now more than 3,000 pounds better off, thanks to the fundraising efforts of runners in Bath’s half marathon. 

Twenty-seven people from across the region donned their running shoes in support of The Big Issue and Bath homeless charity Julian House in the marathon, which took place at the end of last month. It is hoped that the final sponsorship total will top 3,300 pounds. 

Julian House is an open access hostel with 18 beds, three of which are specifically for women, that operates seven days a week, 365 days a year. Residents receive dinner and breakfast and have access to the showers and laundry facilities. Money raised by the half marathon will help finance the charity’s work while The Big Issue South West will use its share of the sponsorship money to help support those who sell the magazine move on to work, education or training. 

Team organizer Cecil Weir from Julian House was delighted with the response. He said: “I spoke to as many of the runners as I could after the race and although most were utterly exhausted, they were also very proud of their achievement. For most it was the first time that they had covered the distance.  

“After the downpour of the 2004 even I was so pleased that the weather this time was kind to the runners – in fact almost perfect. It always takes time to round up the sponsorship, but 3,300 pounds will be a terrific contribution to the work of both organization. Well done to all of The Big Issue/Julian House runners for their hard work on our behalf”.  

Two members of staff from The Big Issue South West, Marc Leverton, advertising Manager, and recruitment executive James Cowles, were among those who ran the 13-mile distance, raising 290 pounds between them.  

Leverton said: “I have done a few runs before but never for charity. I thought it would be good to do something for a good cause and I was surprised how easy it was to raise the money. 

“The atmosphere was excellent and there were quite a lot of people cheering the runners on. Because I was wearing a top printed by Julian House with my name on it people were shouting ‘Come on Mar’. James and I didn’t do any specific training at all and suffered massively the next day. But James managed to run it in one hour 30 minutes, and I did it in one hour 45 minutes”. 

Reprinted from The Big Issue Cymru, April 2005 

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