Saturday 17th July 2021

 Take on the 16-mile YMCA DownsLink Challenge from Horsham to Shoreham-by-Sea and help us put young people experiencing homelessness back on the path to independence.

Linking Sussex to Surrey, the Downs Link pathway is how our YMCA got its name! Every night we provide a safe home to over 750 young people in your community. Each and every one has faced serious challenges in their lives. By walking or running the Downs Link pathway, you will help us give young people the skills they need to create a brighter, independent future.

Step out with us and together we can tackle youth homelessness!


YMCA DownsLink Challenge details

Date: Saturday 17th July 2021

Location: The Downs Link bridleway between Horsham and Shoreham-by-Sea

Distance: 16 miles

Terrain: Mostly flat

Registration fee: £10

Suggested fundraising pledge: £50


Fancy a bigger challenge? Take on the 36-mile ultra route!

Covid-19 safety

Following the government announcement on 14.6.21 we wanted to update that our event is going ahead and will operate in line with Covid-19 safety guidelines at the time. Read our FAQs to find out more about how we’re keeping you safe and email with any questions.

Want to take part in your own space?

We welcome supporters wanting to walk or run closer to home and in their own time, with a remote YMCA DownsLink Challenge! Below are links to some suggested walking routes across our localities, or feel free to make use of your own garden or treadmill. However you choose to take part, every step will go a long way to supporting homeless young people.

Click the links for suggested walking routes in East Sussex, West Sussex, Brighton & Hove or Guildford.

Register here to take part in your own space.

The YMCA DownsLink Challenge Experience

All participants will receive:
# Free YMCA DownsLink Challenge t-shirt
# Free wooden medal to celebrate your achievement!

On the day Downs Link route participants will receive:
# Medical assistance
# A clearly marked route
# Support and enthusiasm along the way
# A dedicated aid station to refuel halfway!

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What happens after I register?

Once you’ve registered, we’ll send you your Information Pack containing fundraising tips and tricks, what to bring on the day, training ideas and a detailed map of the route with access points and transport options. You’ll also gain access to our YMCA DownsLink Challenge Dropbox, where you can find downloadable social media tiles, wording, a poster and a few other surprises!

How your support makes a difference

Louise’s Story

Louise, one of our Positive Placement mentors says, “The chance to help shape a young person’s future is an incredible honour and I am grateful to the YMCA for this chance.”

Thea’s story

Thea was ready to move on from living in a YMCA hostel to take up a university place, but lack of funds was stopping her. Read how YMCA’s Life Change Fund opened the way.

Nathan’s story

“Having no previous experience of accessing support, contacting [YMCA DownsLink Group’s] Find It Out+ service has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life… I felt welcomed from the get-go and quickly felt …

Nathan’s story Read More »



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isn’t found there, email 

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YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by and faithful to our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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