News team put on their trainers and run 33 miles for bus project

WE'VE run for the bus, raising hundreds of pounds for a homeless project.

Wednesday, 3rd May 2017, 5:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:52 pm
From left, head of news Tom Morton with reporters Ellie Pilmoor, Kieran Davey and Tamara Siddiqui Picture: Sarah Standing (170576-866)

Yesterday, members of The News editorial team held a relay covering more than the equivalent distance of a marathon for the Rucksack Project.

So far, we have raised more than £700 for the project, which is looking to turn a double-decker bus into a shelter for homeless people in Portsmouth.

Organised by Joanne Vines, the Bus Project will see the donated Stagecoach vehicle house 12 people overnight with use of beds, a kitchen and a shower.

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From left, head of news Tom Morton with reporters Ellie Pilmoor, Kieran Davey and Tamara Siddiqui Picture: Sarah Standing (170576-866)

To show our support we ran around the lake at 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, covering 35 miles with defence reporter Tom Cotterill running seven of them.

Editor Mark Waldron took on the first lap. He said: ‘It was really wonderful to see the reporters and heads of departments running for this great cause.

‘We aimed to do 26 miles, so the fact we have covered more is fantastic.

‘When we were told about the Bus Project we were really keen to show our support and do something to help.

From left, head of news Tom Morton with reporters Ellie Pilmoor, Kieran Davey and Tamara Siddiqui Picture: Sarah Standing (170576-866)

‘Homelessness in Portsmouth is something we have covered a lot in the newspaper.’

A target of £1,000 was set for the fundraiser and so far £785 has been raised, with £565 donated online.

Mark added: ‘Thank you to everyone who has donated to this brilliant cause so far. We are so near the total, so any more donations now we have completed the run will be hugely appreciated.’

Since Joanne launched the project earlier this year, more than £4,000 has been donated.

Businesses have been giving money as well as their time and insulation is now starting to be installed. An electrician has also been on board.

Joanne, founder of the Rucksack Project, said: ‘I am overwhelmed with the response that we have got so far.

‘I want to say thank you to The News for doing the run and raising hundreds of pounds.

‘I have been stunned at how much has been donated, with so many businesses and organisations showing their support for us.

‘When I first started it, I thought a few people would offer to help so it has been overwhelming.’