Hannah Grayson, based in London, is giving her running a festive twist this December by following routes that create Christmas-themed pictures on the map.
31-year old Hannah, a freelance flautist, chose to take on the challenge after taking part in the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual work with national homelessness charity Crisis to support some of the charity’s clients to create a music piece, which they then performed at the Royal Festival Hall.
Shortly after the project ended, Hannah decided she wanted to fundraise for the charity, and put her love of running to the test. Using the app, Strava, Hannah decided to stray away from her normal running route and add some festive magic to her running, all with the aim of raising money for Crisis.
Hannah is planning 12 routes altogether, so far completing runs in the shape of a reindeer, Santa, bauble, penguin, stocking and a present. She’ll be running all over London and would love to be joined by others on her way or see people creating their own routes too.
To date, Hannah has raised over £550 – the equivalent of reserving 19 places for someone experiencing homelessness at one of Crisis’ centres this Christmas.
Crisis is currently preparing to open its Christmas centres which are a lifeline for thousands of homeless people over the festive period. The centres offer immediate relief of warm food, shelter and many health and wellbeing services and introduce guests to Crisis’ year-round services so they can be supported to leave homelessness behind for good.
Hannah said: “Working with some of Crisis’ clients showed me how deeply these experiences effect people in this situation and helped to connect with personalities on the streets rather than just bracketing them as “homeless”. The thought of those incredible people without a roof over their heads and on their own at Christmas… no chance!
“It is quite interesting trying to build the routes as it takes a while to ‘get your eye in’ but once you’ve found one, you’re on a roll! It’s great when other people join me on the runs, if we get more people doing them, the more awareness and money we can raise.”