The New Swindon Half Marathon 2017 - the aftermath

Sunday 3rd September 2017 was the first edition of the revamped Swindon Half Marathon and it was epic!

We set up our atmosphere station under the very British weather and prepared the scene for a very noisy welcome to all the runners. We were equipped with handmade sets of drums, water bottles and Gumi bears; ready to motivate them all!

 

We had 8 runners set to race. Unfortunately, one injured himself just a day before the race and couldn’t participate but 7 wore Threshold colours and ran to victory!

 

From the feedback we received, Claire Hyde, from Swindon Probation service, who represented Threshold said:

"Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the Threshold Team at the Swindon Half Marathon on the 3rd September 2017. Having only began training in June i was very nervous and anxious about what i was about to let myself in for however, on the day i didn't let my nerves get the better of me and i 'ran' through them :-). I bumped into Cliff, another runner in the Threshold Team at the Start line and as we were both aiming for the same finishing time, we ran side by side along the course. It was great to see the Threshold Tent on our travels and your encouragement really helped spur us along. Throughout the Course the crowds were amazing and cheered us on and really helped to give us the boast we needed to keep going. However there is one person i would really like to Thank and that is my running partner Cliff. I can not thank Cliff enough for his support and words of encouragement along the course. Whenever i felt like stopping or that I couldn't go on, Cliff was there by my side and with just a few words of encouragement he helped me push through and get to the end :-) I would thoroughly recommended this race to anyone who wanted to challenge themselves and also raise awareness and funds for our local charities like yourselves."

Gareth Nicholas, from NSBRC, who represented Threshold said:

“For me, as someone who doesn’t really run that much, and as someone who found the training as a bit of a chore, I found the actual day really enjoyable (apart from about mile 11!). I certainly found running alongside so many like-minded people, and being shouted and cheered along the route, and seeing familiar faces in the crowd was really helpful and gave me a big boost. And then there was the final section along Commercial Road and near the tented market which gave me extra oomph! The vibe in Old Town (Wood Street) was really really good too! “

Thank you to all that participated to the Swindon Half Marathon, whether you ran or came along to help. We all had a fantastic time and congratulations to all the runners but especially to our THL team that has raised so far £1,254.03 and counting! 

 

The BIG Abseil 2017 - Challenge accomplished!

It all started as a joke! Someone shared the event with me on social media and I challenged (jokingly at first) my colleagues to take part. Some of them were up for it straight away, whilst some others needed a bit of persuasion. Nevertheless, after discussion (or constant nagging by me), 9 of us signed up in the beginning of July and the anticipation began!

 

 

Each one of us carried on with our daily routine, only to be reminded of the upcoming challenge by  sponsorship requests to friends and family. Before I knew it was only a couple of days before the BIG Abseil and as I was passing by the Jurys Inn in the town centre, it really sank in. My mind raced from “What have I done? I am petrified of heights! Why on earth would I do this to myself?! Is it some sort of midlife crisis?” to “I can do this! It isn’t that high…. Just don’t look down!”

This feeling, the fear of the unknown, isn’t very much different from what our services users go through when we support them towards the diverse changes needed. It is so much easier to keep ourselves in our comfort zone, missing out on opportunities because we are scared. So I suppose this is exactly why we did it; to prove to ourselves that we can, that even if we are petrified.

 

I remember everyone’s faces at the top of the Jurys Inn. All of us, very quiet. The atmosphere was tense. I looked at the scenery, amazed by how far I could see. I didn’t look down though, I couldn’t! The worst part of this experience was going backwards over the scaffolding, feet in the air, being told to let go. I finally made my way down slowly but surely! I stopped a couple of times but got motivated to carry on by the cheering of my colleagues, friends and family, supporting us from the ground.

Did I enjoy it? No but I did it and that’s what matters! We proved to ourselves that even if we were petrified, we can surpass our fear, and that’s the best feeling in the world!

Thank you to everyone that has taken part in this crazy experience, whether you were abseiling down, were cheering or taking pictures, it was a real team effort and it felt fantastic! Thank you to all of you that sponsored us, your money will help us preventing homelessness in Swindon!

P.S.: Thank you for the amazing BBQ afterwards! The food was delicious! The BBQ was built by one very skilled resident! 

 

 

Written by Cai Larkins – Fundraising Coordinator @ Threshold Housing Link 

Meet 2 of Our New Swindon Half Marathon's runners

The New Swindon Half marathon (NSHM) is approaching fast and so we met with 2 more of our NSHM’s runners to give them their running vests! We have asked them what motivated them to take part in the NSHM for Threshold Housing Link.

Meet Elliot, one of our Resettlement Workers:

“Hi my name is Elliot and I work for Threshold Housing Link as a Key Worker, I decided to run the half marathon only two weeks ago when another runner dropped out. I am running to show to anyone who is struggling with substance misuse that change is possible, a happy life is attainable and all you need to do is believe in yourself! Keep putting one foot in front of the other and run towards that brighter future!!”

Meet Gary, Former Hostel Team Leader:

 

“Hi, I am Gary, I am doing the New Swindon Half Marathon for Threshold Housing Link, because having worked for them, I know how important their services are to the local homeless population”

If you wish to sponsor them, you can by clicking the link below, make sure that you mention that this is for the NSHM. 

www.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/thl

THL's golf tournament

Threshold Housing Link is proud to organise our first Golf Tournament at Carswell Golf Club, Faringdon, Oxfordshire, England, SN7 8PU. 

£45/head - It includes bacon roll & coffee on arrival, 18 holes of golf, followed by a hot meal with a fundraising auction.

For more information, to book your place(s) please contact Threshold Housing Link either by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone us on 01793 524 661.

Swindon Orbital Asda helping us fight homelessness

Hi Thresholdians, 

Just a quick one today to say that Swindon Orbital Asda has chosen us as one of their nominated charities until the end of December 2016! 

If you shop at the Orbital Asda, please think of us and drop your green token in our designated box "Threshold Swindon Outreach Team".

Many thanks! 

 

Runvember 2016

Hello Thresholdians,

 

Have you heard of Runvember?

No? Well, be prepared to be amazed!

 

During the whole of November 2016, people across Swindon will take part in a running challenge, run by Alan Butler.

They will be running every day of the month to raise awareness on our behalf and to collect vital and essential items for our Survival Pack that we give to the Rough Sleepers of Swindon.

So if you spot a Runvember runner on his daily challenge, cheer him/her up for us please or if yourself are interested in taking part, please get in touch with Alan Butler via his website, www.runvember.co.uk

 

Alternatively, you can sponsor them by either donating money towards the different items needed on our virgin money giving page or you can donate items directly to them.

Good luck to all the runners!

runvember

 

Join us for a coffee & a piece of cake

Please join us for our Coffee Morning on Saturday 17th September 2016. We will be exhibiting some of our residents amazing artwork and poetry, including Steve’s famous Robots! There will be a raffle with some fantastic prizes, so come along and relax with coffee and delicious cakes before getting your weekly shopping.

 

Sleepout 2015

 

 

 

Winter Sleep Out 2015

A big thank you to everyone who braved the elements (it was very cold!) at our annual SLEEP OUT in 2015.

By joining us participants showed solidarity with the homeless and raised funds to support our Street Outreach service. We are on course to raise £5,000, which is a fantastic effort and much needed.

We are always interested in hearing from anyone who would want to take part - at any time of year. Alternatively we want to work with community groups, clubs, schools or companies to develop your own specific Sleep Out to help support the homeless.

You can make a valuable contribution – so please contact us by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Run4Home

On the 17 May 2014 participants took part in a river-ridge relay organised on behalf of Threshold. The course took them across the scenic Thames Path and Ridgeway encompassing 9 stages of cycling and running, finishing in Swindon; a total of 78 miles.

The idea for this event was inspired by an ex-serviceman from Swindon, who had become homeless and having hit ‘rock bottom’ he found himself on Tower Bridge and was on the verge of jumping into the river and ending it all. A passer-by spent some time talking to him and convinced him to go home. This he did by walking the entire distance from London to Swindon. The man, with our support, went on to hold down a job and live in accommodation with a secure tenancy.

It took him days to walk all the way but it took our supporters a couple of hours raising vital funds for us. Well done and thanks to all those who took part.

Threshold’s run4home started as one man’s long journey back from the edge.

Threshold have made that journey again and again for a number of years to raise funds to provide vital services to Swindon’s homeless. 

National Citizen Service Summer Social Action 2017

This summer has been abuzz with NCS student social action and activity in support of Threshold.

Waves of teams of 15 and 16 year olds have dedicated part of their summer holidays to creating ‘pure good’ in their own communities.

Cai and I met with each wave of student groups at New College to present and share with them the core work that Threshold undertakes in preventing homelessness in Swindon. This ground work resulted in numerous teams selecting Threshold as their charity of choice to raise essential funds and to raise the profile of the work of our charity in our community.

Presentations were made to in excess of 130 College students which then resulted in 67 students becoming Threshold Student Social Action Ambassadors taking on the challenge of working to prevent homelessness in their very own community. They did absolutely brilliantly! Raising in excess of £700 for Threshold in collections and donations – through a range of activities which included:

  • ·         2 x Radio Interviews 105.5FM Swindon Community Radio which garnered further sponsorship and reached a Swindon wide audience
  • ·         Promoted our “Jar for Change Campaign” to local businesses
  • ·         Undertook Cake sales
  • ·         A Car Wash
  • ·         A Sponsored Walk
  • ·         A Day-time Sleep-out and social action in the Town centre
  • ·         Students created a Social Action Vlog
  • ·         Manufactured Badge making with our partners at the GateShop in Havelock Square, and
  • ·         Badge sales and collections at three of our partner venues. We were supported by Morrison’s Regent Circus, Fillerz Café and Swindon Central Library
  • ·         Renovated and painted our HQ Office Reception and Interview Rooms, as well as
  • ·         Painted a large 2m x 2m Mural for our HQ offices
  • ·         Collected Food Donations and
  • ·         Made and donated sandwiches which were presented to our Outreach Team for distribution to rough sleepers and those that were homeless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was wonderful to co-collaborate with such committed and passionate young people driven to improve the lives of others. 

 

Written by Michael Keenan - Business Manager @ Threshold Housing Link - September 2017

Meet 3 of Our Swindon Half Marathon's Runners

new swindon half marathon runners THL

So last week, we met with 3 of our New Swindon Half Marathon’s (NSHM) runners to give them their running vests. We took this opportunity to show them around our direct access hostel, met with two of our Front line Staff and discuss the work that is being done with our residents!

Then it was time to ask them what motivated them to take part in the NSHM for Threshold Housing Link and here is what they said:

“My name is Cliff Boddy, I am currently volunteering for Threshold and I was talked into running the half marathon by Cai, so I felt that I had no choice; but no seriously I am looking forward to it as it should be a great event to raise some funds for a really worthwhile charity.”

“My name is Claire Hyde, I am a probation Service officer with the National Probation Service. We work a lot with people who experience homelessness or various issues and Threshold is one of the charities that we sign post people to; so I thought it would be very good to volunteer my services to raise some money for them, so they can help our clients and move them on to better accommodation and life.”

“I am Alan Butler, founder of RunVEMBER. I approached Threshold, last year, with my fundraising. I don’t know what you call it, lunacy, I don’t know, but you know I am running the Swindon Half just to raise vital funds and awareness for their cause, their charity and the great work that they do!”

If you wish to sponsor them, you can by clicking the link below, make sure that you mention that this is for the NSHM. 

www.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/thl

So, Runvember 2016, what a success!

The end of Runvember was almost a month ago and here at Threshold, we are still blown away by the kindness and generosity of all the Runvembrians and their sponsors! It was so overwhelming to see all this support and so many people prepared to help us in our cause. Not only they have collected 450+ boxes (26 pallets, 1 entire alley of the warehouse at Infinite Group) but they have also contributed enormously in raising our profile within the community!

So, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that took part in this challenge but particularly Alan Butler and his sponsors, without whom, this would clearly not have been possible! Please see below for the entire list and logos of Runvember’s sponsors.

  • 113events.com, the organiser of the New Swindon's half marathon 
  • ASF signs 
  • Hubert & Woodall Print 
  • Back 2 fitness injury clinic
  • Morgan Tree Surgery
  • Pestguard uk, pest control and prevention 
  • Blood on the tracks
  • Box and Seal 
  • SMRC badges
  • T&A building services 
  • G&D Vehicle services
  • Majestic Electrical Contractors
  • The Royal Wootton Bassett & Lyneham Advertiser
  • Infinite Group 
  • The Five Bells In

Threshold's annual Sleepout

Sleep out for one night, so that the homeless don’t have to!

Winter is fast approaching and once again Threshold Housing Link needs the help of local people.

We require ‘brave’ volunteers who are willing to be sponsored and join us at our SLEEPOUT! taking place on the night of Friday 2nd December 2016 at The Immanuel United Reformed Church, Upham Road, Swindon, SN3 1DH. This annual event helps raise much needed funds to support services for Swindon’s homeless.

Anyone can take part - whether individuals, groups or families and this year we are inviting local churches, community organisations, schools, colleges and businesses to nominate at least one person to participate and represent their organisation.

Everyone can make a meaningful contribution by joining us, to show solidarity with the homeless, to raise funds to support our work and to give you a small insight into what it feels like to sleep rough. However, we are not attempting to recreate the experience of rough sleeping our aim will be to keep you safe and secure.

To register your place, obtain a sponsorship pack or find out more please contact Threshold on (01793) 524661 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Fresher's Day at New College Swindon

On the 8th September 2016, Threshold were invited to attend the New College Fresher's event.

We took this opportunity to challenge their students on their awareness of homelessness by asking them to build their own bed out of cardboard boxes and enter our competition to win a mystery prize.

We met some lovely students that were up for the challenge. 8 teams (up to 5 people per team) in total took part and used their brilliant creativity and skills to create them. Please have a look at their work below. 

 

 

And the winner is: Jade Tonks. We felt that Jade demonstrated the best skills to build her bed. It was made with ingenuity, practicality and rapidity. Well done Jade, you left us very impressed!

Phil's dirty dozen

 

Phil's Dirty Dozen - by Paul Kyson

 

We are running 12 half marathons through 2016, in memory of Phil Smith. He had worked for Threshold for over 20 years, and was a true champion for the under dog. He has helped change the lives of many people who have sought help from Threshold, Paul being among them.

He experienced first hand, the hardship of having to travel to Oxford for radiotherapy treatment, and prior to his passing, had been very passionate about the Brighter Futures campaign. He even attempted to raise money through a sponsored bike ride that unfortunately he could not complete due to ill health (his son-in-law took his place).

We’ve run Wokingham, Yeovil, and Bournemouth Bay half marathons so far, with Ridgeway Revenge coming up on the 18th June.  Please donate now and help us make this a fitting tribute to an amazing man.

Thank You

 

Paul's Virgin Money page:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/TeamDirtyDozen

Paul's Twitter:

@PSDirtyDozen 

Paul's Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/philsdirtydozen

Paul's article in the Swindon Advertiser:

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/14196613.Marathon_challenge_for_homeless_charity_workers/

End of the Track

End of the Track Event Raises

This years ‘End of the Track’ event at the Lawn Community Centre raised an amazing £660 to support Threshold’s work with Swindon’s homeless.

Sincere thanks again go to Wendy who organised the event as well as those who attended and everyone at Lawn. We received a very warm welcome when we accepted the cheque on behalf of the homeless at the Community Centre on the 17th October.

Once again a very big thank you!

Lawn Community Centre Oct 2014

If you missed it this time around, don’t worry, as we hope to be doing it all again, rocking to the sounds of the 60s, on the 12 September next year.

We will keep you posted.

Swindon // 1 John Street // SN1 1RT

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