New running group set up in Leamington with homeless charity

Steve Atherton with Richard Mitchell and Susan Verne who are volunteers at Helping Hands and Kathy Healey who is a seasoned runner.
Steve Atherton with Richard Mitchell and Susan Verne who are volunteers at Helping Hands and Kathy Healey who is a seasoned runner.

A new running group has started in Leamington in partnership with homeless charity Helping Hands.

The group, with the help of Steve Atherton, is for anyone who is homeless, ex offenders, those struggling with any form of mental health issues and anyone else who wants to join.

Steve spent a year fundraising for Helping Hands by completing 56 challenges and has been inspired to turn his running into something that can benefit others and their well being.

Steve, who is a Run England coach, said: “I am so impressed with the enthusiasm from the people who have joined us so far, together we explore Leamington and as a team we help each other.”

Lianne Kirkman from Helping Hands said: “We want to help people’s health and wellbeing and running is a great way to make new friends and get fit and feel the benefits quickly.

“After seeing Steve running various marathons over the year I came across a YouTube of a group in America set up for homeless people and addicts and thought Steve would be the best person to head this up for us here at Helping Hands.

“Steve has spent a year fundraising for us and the impact this has had on him has led him to want to do more to help and with his experience and love for running, this is a perfect way for Steve to carry on supporting local people in need.”

The free running group meets every Wednesday at 6.30pm at Helping Hands’s charity shop The Lighthouse on Gloucester Street in Leamington.