Kathryn de Ferrer - six days running through the Sahara for The London and Slough Run, raising funds for the Homeless

Since January, the Form IV girls at Heathfield School, Ascot have been supporting the Slough Winter Nightshelter which runs for about 10 weeks through the coldest months of the year. The girls have been fund-raising, then once a week have used that money to buy food, make evening meals and to deliver this to the guests spending the night in the temporary shelters.

It has been an extraordinary experience for all of us involved. Not only have we been able to help in some small way with this fantastic and important charity, but it has allowed us to meet and to get to know the people involved. The girls have been able to sit with, talk to and to hear the stories, the backgrounds and the hopes of the men and women who are using the shelter – which has been an absolute life-line for some of them. It has been a truly humbling experience.

Some months ago I started on an essentially selfish endeavour to take part in the Marathon des Sables, a six day ultra event where I run (or in my case walk and jog very slowly) for 250km across the Sahara desert in Morocco in temperatures of more than 40c degrees. We are given a daily allowance of water, which we have to carry ourselves along with everything else for the entire 6 days – clothing, food, essential supplies … all in one back-pack. It now seems totally appropriate that I put the hours I have spent training for this, to some good use and it feels completely fitting that I raise funds for the London and Slough Run, which not only organises the night-time shelter during the winter, but supports the Homeless throughout the year. More about the organisation can be found at: http://thelondonandsloughrun.com/

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