Lisa’s on the run to support children across Dewsbury and Leeds

Lisa Skinner is set to run 47 miles and climb more than 6,000 feet across two races, in support of bed poverty charity Zarach.

By Jessica Barton
Friday, 28th January 2022, 11:05 am
Lisa wishes to help support the Zarach charity in it's mission to help more children in poverty.
Lisa wishes to help support the Zarach charity in it's mission to help more children in poverty.

The charity was founded by Leeds deputy head teacher, Bex Wilson, after discovering one of her 11-year old pupils did not have a bed to sleep on.

Zarach delivers beds and basics to children in poverty across Leeds and, recently, Dewsbury to help families in crisis rise up from surviving to thriving so children can eat, sleep and learn.

Bex said: “I noticed the pupil wasn’t his usual happy self so I asked if he was feeling tired. His response was ‘Miss, I am always tired. I don’t have a bed.’

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After speaking with his mum, it became clear that the family had experienced a crisis resulting in an unplanned house move to an unfurnished home. The three children shared a bed bug infested old sofa cushion to sleep on. They were covered in sores.

“Mum felt like she had no hope and nowhere to turn. Despite working in a city with lots of brilliant community organisations, I discovered there wasn’t any help available to get the children beds.

“If a child sleeps and eats well, they learn better. Fact.

“Education is the key to breaking the poverty cycle. It’s time we even out the playing field.”

Lisa, who works in Dewsbury, saw Bex’s story over Christmas and “couldn’t believe” what she was reading. This led her to setting up the fundraiser to help support more children across the region.

Lisa’s run will be spread across two races. The first race will take place on April 9 where she will be running 16 miles and climbing 2,805 feet on a hike in Calderdale.

Then on September 3 she will be running the Heights Ultra Trail, which is roughly 31 miles and covers 3,280 feet of climbing. This run is based around the Colne and Holme Valley.

Lisa said: “Whilst I am a person who runs already, I am normally a road runner, so trails are new to me. I generally try to find the flattest route possible.

“These two runs will present a lot of challenges for me and I am pretty terrified, I won’t lie.

“I like to think I am pretty aware of what happens in the world, especially on my own doorstep but I couldn’t get my head around kids sharing couch cushions with siblings, sleeping in bathtubs or on floors. It absolutely broke me.

“So, if Bex Wilson can help a family and then so many more through her charity, when she could have just carried on with her lesson that day, then the least I can do is pull on a pair of trainers and risk getting lost up a hill.

“I hope this story and the challenges I have set myself are enough to make you consider donating what you can to help further. It would mean the absolute world to me and children across Leeds and Dewsbury.”

If you would like to find out more about Zarach and the charity’s work, visit its website:

You can also support Lisa’s journey at: