Walking The Year for the Trussel Trust
Living local to Salisbury I have supported and followed the development of the Trussell Trust since it was founded over twenty years ago. It’s national network of 1,200 food banks are vital in supporting those in poverty within our society. Last year their network gave 1.6 million food bank parcels to people, almost half of these were for children. Equally important is their lobbying and campaigning to influence government and change social policy.
At the start of 2018 I committed to doing more to help this outstanding charity by fundraising to support its aims and also seeking to help raise awareness. Being a keen walker it seemed natural to take on a walking challenge and I came up with a plan to walk 2,018 “boots on” miles.
2,018 miles equates to approximately 5.5 miles per day, for most people that’s about two hours walking. Not too challenging for a day, or a week, but for a year it certainly is! But what’s the point of taking on a challenge that is easy?
“Boots on” is not the normal walking about we all do in our day-to-day lives. It is lacing up the walking boots and getting out there. In 2018 I certainly got out there! During the year we travelled extensively around Britain in our caravan with our two Labrador dogs, so I walked in a wide variety of places. It’s hard to pick a favourite location, but I keep returning to the Yorkshire Dales, Exmoor and the Quantock Hills.
One of the most challenging aspects of walking in 2018 was the long hot summer, which meant carrying additional water for myself and the dogs.
Other highlights were clocking up 120 miles of the South Downs Way in 6 days, setting a personal best of 7 hours 44 minutes on the Yorkshire Three Peaks and completing the 27 mile Clarendon Way between Winchester and Salisbury cathedrals.
During the year I also established a local walking group to encourage more people within my community to get out together and share the physical and mental health benefits of walking.
Through my blog (twodogsandanawning.co.uk) and social media I share details of my individual and group walks, this also helps increase awareness of the key work undertaken by the Trussell Trust in its quest to stop UK Hunger.
By the end of 2018 I had walked 2,230 miles, which equates to walking from Lands End to John O’Groats and almost all the way back again. I also managed over 250,000 feet of ascent. That is equivalent to climbing Mount Everest eight times!
Whilst completing my Walk 2,018 miles challenge I reached my fundraising target of £2,018. I have decided to continue fundraising for the Trussell Trust repeating the challenge and aiming to walk 2,019 miles in 2019, after all it is only one mile further.
In the first four months of this year I have walked over 700 miles and have already covered over 90,000 feet of ascent (three times up Everest) and my total fundraising is now over £2,600.
The Trussell Trust
The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of food banks and together we provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.
In the UK, more than 14 million people are living in poverty – including 4.5 million children. We support more than 1,200 food bank centres in the UK to provide a minimum of three days’ nutritionally-balanced emergency food to people who have been referred in crisis, as well as support to help people resolve the crises they face. Between April 2018 and March 2019, food banks in our network provided a record 1.6 million food supplies to people in crisis, a 19% increase on the previous year.
We know it takes more than food to end hunger. That’s why we bring together the experiences of food banks in our network to challenge the structural economic issues that lock people in poverty, and campaign to end the need for food banks in the UK.