8 April 2024

The YMCA Fun Run & Sports Festival is back on Sunday 5 May!

With a 5-mile adult race and 1-mile races for adults and juniors, there is a distance for every age and experience at this inclusive running and sporting event. The longer route follows a loop on local lanes whilst the adult and junior 1-mile races stay within the grounds of the beautiful Priory Park in Reigate.

Ian Burks is YMCA East Surrey’s Chief Executive. He says:

“You don’t have to be a fast runner, although there are prizes for those that are! The main aim of the Fun Run is getting the community out and taking part. All participants will receive an exclusive YMCA race technical t-shirt and commemorative medal – along with a great sense of achievement.”

The event is run in partnership with Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, with plenty of food and drinks stalls as well as a climbing wall and safe archery with free access funded by the council. The Sports Festival welcomes local sports clubs who will be offering free tasters of their sports, with a central arena hosting displays – making this the perfect family day out for everyone to enjoy and try something new.

All children will receive an activity passport in their race number packs. Collect stamps by taking part in different sporting activities and you can collect a free prize on the day!

The money raised from the YMCA Fun Run this year will support the charity’s youth housing projects. Currently, 1 in 52 young people are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the UK.

In 2020, Evie was one of these young people. She was just 17 years old when she was made homeless by a closure order, obtained by Surrey Police, on her family home. She began a cycle of sofa surfing at the houses of friends and family.

“I felt worthless and helpless to do anything about the situation,” Evie explains.

Fortunately, a social worker put her in touch with the YMCA Housing team at Hillbrook House in Redhill. By 2022, she had progressed through our Resident Journey successfully enough to be offered a place in one of the YMCA Move-On houses, giving her a new-found independence.

Evie says:

“The YMCA staff helped me believe I can make something of my life. Moving on to independence feels like a new beginning. I’ve come a long way and God knows where I’d be if it wasn’t for the YMCA – almost certainly still sofa surfing. Instead, I feel like a different person and I know what life’s about. It’s scary, but I’m ready for it.”

Ian Burks says:

“In 2024, we will be opening a new move-on accommodation for 6 young people in Redhill, adding to the 3 other move-on properties we already have. We are aiming to raise £100,000 through challenge events towards refurbishment costs as well as furniture for individual bedrooms and communal areas.”

“Your fundraising will help to create a nurturing environment that truly feels like home. Please join us at this year’s YMCA Fun Run and open the doors to a brighter future for young people.”

For Fun Run entries and more information, go to www.ymcaeastsurrey.org.uk or call 01737 779979.