BBC Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman will wave the start flag on 12 June at the 22nd annual Crisis Square Mile Run in London.
The annual event is in aid of Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people. Thousands of people are expected to take part in the iconic 4-mile fun run, which takes in famous landmarks including the London Eye, the OXO Tower and the Tate Modern.
Jeremy Paxman, who also hosted the event in 2012, said: “This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that the City of London is not entirely populated by Fat Cats. (Mildly overweight is fine, though, and an ability to put one paw in front of the other rather essential). From my limited experience (admittedly, starting rather than finishing the Crisis Square Mile Run), it's a happy, fun event, which raises lots of money to help some of our hardest-hit fellow-citizens. If you come, I will.”
As well as calling for individual runners to take part in the event on 12 June, Crisis is also inviting teams to sign up to the Crisis Square Mile Relay event on 5 June. Around 2,500 fun runners across both events aim to hit a £140,000 fundraising target.
The number of people sleeping rough in England has risen by more than a third over the last three years. In London, more than 6,400 people slept rough at some point last year, an increase of more than two thirds over two years.
Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: “The Crisis Square Mile Run is always a popular event - I’m looking forward to the City of London becoming a sea of red as thousands of runners tackle the famous route this June, raising much-needed funds to support homeless people across the UK.”
The money raised from the event will help homeless people in London and across the UK re-build their lives through Crisis’ housing, health and employment services. Since its beginnings in 1992 the Crisis Square Mile Run has raised well over £2 million.
Runners are asked to each raise a minimum of £50. To join the 1,000 fundraisers who have already signed up to take part in the Crisis Square Mile Run or for more information, visit the Crisis Square Mile Run webpage: www.crisis.org.uk/smr