AN ULTRAMARATHON runner and a gold medal winning Olympian wants your help to raise funds to support young homeless people.

Comedian Eddie Izzard and athlete Sally Gunnell OBE are supporting the YMCA in Sussex.

The charity, which supports 750 young people with accommodation across Sussex every night, want people to take part in a sponsored walk or run.

It will take place along a former railway line linking Guildford with Shoreham.

People can either complete a 16-mile or 36-mile route on the event on July 17.

Money raised goes to help the charity’s work to tackle and prevent youth homelessness.

“I would encourage you to get involved in the YMCA Downslink challenge to help homeless young people and put them back on the path to independence,” Eddie Izzard said.

The actor from Bexhill has himself completed ultramarathon challenges around the world, and in a video promoting the event said people taking part can choose to either walk or run.

YMCA Downslink group chief Chas Walker said: “This past year has been tough for everyone, but for many young people, already on the margins of society, it has been devastating.

“Young people, particularly those in low paid or gig economy jobs, have felt the economic impact of the pandemic already and many are struggling to afford the basics, such as food and rent.

“We’ve also seen a huge rise in the number of young people presenting as homeless due to an increase in family conflict.

“Despite increasing the capacity of our family mediation service, we have long waiting lists. “And, most worryingly, we’ve seen a huge increase in the severity of the mental health issues in our young residents and those coming to our youth advice centres.

“Money raised by events such as YMCA Downslink Challenge, will go towards sustaining and increasing our provision for those local young people most in need.”

Participants can choose whether to walk or run the 16 miles from Horsham to Shoreham, or for anyone feeling super fit, or wanting a bigger challenge, there is an option to do the full 36 miles from Guildford to Shoreham. Everyone is being asked to raise a minimum of £50 but anyone raising over £150 will be entered into a prize draw to win a hamper of goodies.

Registration costs £10 which covers the cost of putting on the event and includes a branded T-shirt and finisher’s medal.

To sign up or for more information, visit: