Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Former homeless man to run London Marathon for charity

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Former homeless man to run London Marathon for charity

9th April 2013
Running is hard work for anyone, but for somebody like Chris Cashen, who is trying to turn his life around, it's a lifesaver.

Chris has battled homelessness and substance misuse, but is putting all that behind him with the help of Anchor House, an East End homeless charity.

“Anchor House is a haven for those lacking resources,” he said. “Even more important, they attempt to stave off homelessness through education, employment assistance and other services.”

Chris is in full time employment, currently working in retail in Stratford’s Westfield. He is also training to run the London Marathon - all 26 miles of it. 

Just over one year ago, Chris left Dublin for London and found himself without a roof over his head. 

He was supported by the London Irish Centre and eventually referred to Anchor House in Canning Town, East London.

Since moving in to Anchor House, Chris has become a member of the East End Running club, as running has been a passion of his since his teens. 

“It’s great to be able to use all your energy positively, and I now do my best to keep healthy,” said Chris.

When the London Irish Centre advertised for one runner to run the London Marathon on their behalf Chris was the first to put his hand up to raise funds for the charity. 

His own struggles led Chris to want to give back to the London Irish Centre. 

“Many people helped me when I needed it,” he said. “Without the London Irish Centre and Anchor House, I would have no idea where I would be right now.”

"I’ve always enjoyed running, but it was a past time. Now I feel really motivated as I know my efforts are helping a charity that done so much to help me," said Chris. He said, "I never thought I would be able to accomplish something like this and to be able to do that is definitely going to turn my life around."

And that, more than anything, is the goal.

To support Chris and the London Irish Centre, please visit his JustGiving page here:

For more information about Anchor House homeless charity, please visit our website:


Jazmine Sandison
Marketing & Communications
Anchor House 81 Barking Road, London E16 4HB
Phone: 020 7476 6062


Anchor House is a nationally acclaimed flagship project addressing the root causes of homelessness; substance misuse; poor mental health; unemployment; lack of skills/education and a history of offending.

It is a registered charity providing accommodation for up to 220 single homeless people each year. It also provides a wide range of accredited vocational training courses in construction, electrical, plumbing and distance learning for both residents and the local community. The charity is located in Canning Town, in the London Borough of Newham, the third most deprived borough in England and Wales.

The London Irish Centre’s welfare work involves looking after the needs and interests of the Irish community in London, of which a large number are elderly, and in many cases isolated. Their drop in advice service, outreach workers, and friendly Day Centre Lunch Club provide support, social opportunities, and a friendly face to our elderly clients.