The Home Run Project

This project was set up by Calderdale SmartMove (a local homeless organisation) and funded by the ABS Foundation (ABS print a better way) and Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC) a year ago. The overall aim of the project is to give people who have come from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to meet new people, get involved in something they can be proud of and to get a bit healthier in the process. Addiction, homelessness and depression are some of the many issues surrounding people that attend the project.

The fitness sessions are run on a Wednesday evening and are facilitated by a personal trainer. During this session, we are doing anything from H.I.T training and hill running to increase fitness levels, to just running to get in as many miles as possible. The session last for around 90 minutes, which is plenty of time to get the heart rate going. The first Wednesday of every month is a Crossfit session at the defiance lab in Brighouse which is a very intense hour session focused on running endurance by pushing ourselves to the limit, and beyond. There are also two sessions a week available at the Halifax Harriers on a Tuesday and a Thursday, they have three different groups to run with; levels 1, 2 and 3.

We now have ten very keen runners, four of whom (myself included) are in recovery and representing The Basement Recovery Project. The others are from various places; Andy’s Man Club, St Augustines and SmartMove.

The goal is to get fit enough, both physically and mentally to do the Great North Run (half marathon) in September of this year. Everyone who attends the project has never run any kind of distance before and are very much looking forward to running in this fantastic event. Personally, I couldn’t run at all and on occasion struggled to get out of bed on most days but now, after a year of training, I’m at the 11 mile none stop marker so, with a little extra work and the motivation everyone at the project gives me, it can most definitely be accomplished.

I’ve also been lucky enough to be involved in some races for many other fantastic charities. The first one I did was the Wigan 10km, with the most recent one being the Overgate Hospice, also 10km and in three weeks’ time, I have a 10-mile race in Blackpool.

The project is fantastic and the people I have met are all genuinely nice people. I can’t express in words how much help and encouragement they have given me and continue to give me during our sessions. My level of fitness has increased massively and with this, there are the usual benefits; sleeping better, feeling happier, a massive change in my attitude and my overall outlook on life is much brighter.

Now, although the project has filled all its places for the Great North Run, it is very much still open to anyone who wants a fitness session a week, I highly recommend it.