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YMCA Norfolk’s Matthew takes on London marathon in his first-ever race

17 April 2017

YMCA Norfolk assessment worker, Matthew Willingham, is running his first ever road race on April 23 and it’s a big one – the London Marathon.

Matthew, aged 28, who had to abandon a previous attempt to run the marathon last year due to injury, is aiming to raise £2,000 to help bring an end to youth homelessness in the UK.

He works for the YMCA at Norwich Central where the Christian charity houses 36 young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, providing accommodation and

support to enable them to move forward and eventually access more independent accommodation.

“I’ve been working for the YMCA for three years and want to give something back to them for investing in me,” said Matthew. “Most of all though I want to help them continue to support young people and see their lives transformed. Donations will help provide a bed for a young person who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets, it will provide support for someone who feels no one cares, it will provide a future for those who believed they had none.”

Matthew has already raised £1,650 of his £2,000 target and you can sponsor him and find out more at:


Here are just a few examples of how the money you give could actively help a young person:

  • Just £15 could provide a young homeless person with a safe place to stay at a YMCA for a night.
  • £30 could provide a young person with the coaching, skills and confidence they need to give them the best chance of getting a job.
  • £80 could give a holiday to a young carer giving them a break from their burdens and worries. They can also meet others in a similar situation and enjoy some fun and freedom.
  • £500 could fund family mediation sessions for 3 families, helping them to work through their problems and stay together