The Mayor of Lewisham is running in the London Marathon to raise money for homelessness. This is after the number of people sleeping rough has risen.
Damien Egan, who was elected the Mayor of Lewisham in 2018, will raise money for the homelessness charity 999 Club, alongside nine others from Lewisham Council in the April 26 event.
Egan said: “We are proud to be running for such an important local charity. The 999 Club is a vital part of our community and the work they do with people experiencing homelessness is extraordinary. Many of us are first time runners and so this is a big challenge but one we are looking forward to.”
The 999 Club is a homelessness charity in Deptford that provides different services to those who are experiencing homelessness. You can use the centre to take a shower, do your laundry as well as have somewhere to eat and a bed for the night. The 999 Club also provides healthcare, those who use the centre can see visiting nurses, mental health workers or health professionals. It also offers employability programmes.
Egan experienced homelessness when he was just a child alongside his mother and sister and when he was elected mayor he committed to delivering 1,000 new social homes to the borough of Lewisham.
A JustGiving page has also been set up to encourage donations. The page provides more information about the run and says, “We believe no one in our community should have to face homelessness.” So far the page has raised £55 but the team are hoping to raise over £10,000 for the 999’s work and premises.
This fundraising comes after a report released in 2018 found that 8,855 people were sleeping rough on the streets of London (as seen by outreach workers), this is more than double the number in 2010/11.
In early 2019, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, doubled the rough sleeping budget to £19.2 million to increase services available to the homeless community in London.