Published on 12/03/18

Charity Chief Signs up For Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K

The Chief Executive of Birmingham charity SIFA Fireside has signed up for the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K to help raise awareness and funds for city homelessness issues.

Digbeth-based SIFA Fireside is a drop-in centre offering advice, practical help and a resettlement service for homeless and isolated people aged 25+ with mental health issues.

The centre offers hot refreshments, showers and laundry for rough sleepers, a nurse, chiropodist, optician and dental services.

Carly Jones has been the charity’s Chief Executive for just over seven months and she describes being a member of the SIFA Fireside team ‘a real privilege’. She is taking on the 10K to show her commitment to the charity’s work, and is calling on others to join her on Sunday, May 6.

“I am taking part in the run because I want our clients, staff, volunteers and supporters to know I am behind them all the way,” said Carly.

Carly will be joined at the 10K by a ten-strong SIFA Fireside running team, along with radio presenter Rachel New, a keen supporter of the charity.

Homelessness is a huge issue for Birmingham and other large cities with the number of people sleeping rough on city streets increasing 157% over the last three years.

“I wanted to do something outside of the day job that demonstrates my commitment to what we’re here for by doing something challenging,” added Carly.

“I also think that the Chief Executive joining in with fundraising efforts sends a positive message to our supporters who give up time and energy to organise and participate in activities on our behalf and is a small way of recognising those efforts.”

The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K sets off from the city centre before taking in sights such as the Selfridges building, Cannon Hill Park and Edgbaston Stadium.

Some 7,000 people are expected to sign up for the Bank Holiday Weekend event, which features a walking wave for those considering taking on a new activity challenge.

The event has music at its heart, with energetic warm-ups and start waves for 80s, 90s, 00s and today’s music, and bands on the route to inspire the thousands of participants.

“Events like this are hugely important to charities like SIFA Fireside because they are great opportunity for us to raise our profile and share our story with members of the public who may not be familiar with what we do because friends and family sponsoring participants get to know about the cause too,” said Carly.

“They also generate a fantastic amount of unrestricted income for us which enables us to keep our service running seven days a week.

“Whilst we are funded to deliver some specific projects, much of what we do relies on the generous donations of the general public; events like this help us to make the most of the huge amount of goodwill that exists in Birmingham.”

Rachel New added: “Homelessness in Birmingham is a big problem and after this awful, cold winter it’s apparent there are people who need help.

“SIFA offers a certain standard of living to people who are, unfortunately, facing difficulties. They give them the opportunity to have a shower, or a hot meal, use other services. This is a real step up for people getting a better quality of life.

“The work of SIFA is amazing and I’m delighted to be able to support them at the 10K in any way I can.”

To sign up for the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10K on Sunday, May 6, and raise funds for charity or complete a personal goal visit

To support SIFA Fireside visit

To find out more about SIFA Fireside visit