Bath duo to take on 48-mile challenge to raise vital funds for Julian House

A duo from Bath, known as The Hairy Handlebars, are set to take on a 48-mile running challenge in 48 hours in a bid to raise £2000 for homeless charity Julian House.

As a means to show support for the homeless community, Ben Cook and George Cullen will be taking on the feat this Friday, 16th April, through to Sunday.

Since arriving in Bath, Ben has built friendships with a number of the homeless community who call Bath their home, and explained his motivation to do more.

He said: “What surfaces most in our conversations, as well as the more practical struggles, is the profound marginalisation and dehumanisation they experience as a result of inequality, in all its facets.

“Too often I have paid witness to people who walk past without even acknowledging the presence of another human being. This, in my eyes, is unacceptable.

“Homelessness is a product of deep-rooted societal issues. Consider the number of times you have heard someone refer to homeless people as “druggies” or “addicts”? Imprisoned by these damaging judgements; trapped by these negative identities we categories homeless people as beneath us, thus separating ourselves from the issue in the process and unfairly passing the responsibility to them.

“Kindness costs nothing, so I therefore urge you not to ignore someone sitting on the street. Instead have empathy; endeavour to understand their struggles, that they are a reflection of their experiences.

“Smile, say “hello” and let’s try to embody an inclusive society where social hierarchy doesn’t discount people, based on what they have or don’t have.

“George and I we will be running a set route through the city centre and will be dressed up/down for the occasion. If you see us, we would appreciate your support.

“Of course, we are asking for donations but at very least, give us a smile! Should you want to donate please do so here.”

You can follow the pair’s progress on Instagram by following @thehairyhandlebars.

Last year, Julian House provided life-changing support to over 1,400 vulnerable individuals who were suffering from, or at risk of, homelessness across Bath, Bristol and the South West.

Without support like Julian House, the life expectancy of a long-term homeless person is just 44 years.

Bath Echo