CORK residents have been asked to extend a warm welcome to Sanctuary Runners arriving into the city for the Cork City Marathon on May 31.
If you have a room to spare, the not-for-profit organisation is appealing to the public to get in touch.
"We'll have teams coming from Sligo, Monaghan, Dublin, Athlone, Longford, Galway, Mayo and elsewhere and we’re hoping the kind people of Cork can help us out.
"Some of the visiting Sanctuary Runners will be in Direct Provision, others will be Irish – if you have a spare room or two and could put up a couple of runners, maybe give them a bit of dinner and provide a shower, we and they would be overjoyed," Sanctuary Runners founder, Graham Clifford, said.
Hailing from all over the world, the Sanctuary Runners uses running, jogging and walking to connect people in Direct Provision with wider Irish society.
"In 2018 we had a team of 200 runners in the race, 360 last year and now we’re aiming for 1,000 in 2020," Mr Clifford explained.
"A quarter of the Sanctuary Runners taking part in the race on May 31 will come from Direct Provision centres in Cork and across Ireland.
"Most will run a leg of the relay in the marathon and we’re calling on people to sign up and run with us in solidarity, friendship and respect.
"It's notable that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Direct Provision system, it’s important to highlight this and we hope our display of solidarity can achieve that," he continued.
Extending his thanks to those who have helped the organisation, Mr Clifford emphasized the impact the project has made.
"The marathon organisers and Cork City Council have helped us at every step of the way.
"Because of their support, and that of the Tomar Trust, we’ve been able to build bridges between those inside the gates and those outside.
"This initiative changes lives, informs debate, offers a different perspective and empowers a people to tie up their running shoes and proactively run in solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees," he said.
To register interest in providing accommodation you can email firstname.lastname@example.org