Crystal Hicks, a 33 year old mum of twins from Whickham, Gateshead, has pledged to do a charity run from Land’s End to John O’Groats this year to raise money for Oasis Community Housing – a charity close to her heart.

Crystal is originally from Low Fell and has long had a commitment to people in housing crisis, working for Oasis Community Housing and now Your Homes Newcastle. Crystal took up running after the birth of her twins four years ago to get out of the house, but quickly fell in love with it and now she’s hoping her love of running can bring hope to those facing homelessness in 2021.

Reflecting on her motivation for taking on the challenge, Crystal said, “2020 left me feeling that life had become so small. I was constantly hearing of all the restrictions and things we can’t do, due to the virus, and the troubled times we live in.

“I’ve always had a heart to do all I can to make life better for everyone, especially those who are really struggling. Coming into 2021 I’ve decided to refocus not on what we can’t do but what we can. I can run.“

Crystal hopes to raise over £1,000 with her charity run, aiming for £1 per mile, and Crystal is already finding it a real challenge. The large distance means she can’t skip a day’s running come rain or shine. Despite the weather her resolve is holding strong and Crystal is already racking up the miles.

“I’ve been so motivated by those who have generously donated so far. I was hoping that I’d get £1 for every mile and so far have hundreds of those miles sponsored. The generosity of people never ceases to amaze me,” says Crystal.

That money can already fund over a month’s emergency accommodation for someone in housing crisis.

Oasis Community Housing works with people across the North East of England and South London who are dealing with and at risk of homelessness. The past year has been a particularly challenging one for people on the streets with an estimated 778 homeless people dying, according to The Office of National Statistics.

Oasis Community Housing are committed to providing support and solutions to those in housing crisis.

To find more about organising your own walk, run, cycle or adventure to raise funds for Oasis Community Housing, visit our charity’s events pages.