At the start of the pandemic, government figures reported that a household was made homeless every three minutes in England. As we begin a particularly challenging winter Shelter’s housing services are more important than ever, as more people face homelessness for the first time.
The Big Walk aims to raise funds for Shelter, so they can continue to help families through the crisis. A £5 donation could pay for an expert adviser to open a webchat query providing crucial online support and advice; £10 could answer a call to Shelter’s national emergency helpline, and £40 could pay for an in-depth session with a trained housing adviser.
Among those taking part are Bradley and Barney Walsh— stars of the Breaking Dad TV series— who will join walkers on COVID-safe ‘Big Walks’ to raise money for the charity.
Bradley Walsh said: “I’m so excited about doing my own walk in Essex – alongside my son Barney and our family dog – and joining people across the country who’ll be walking to support Shelter’s fight against homelessness. It’s been an unbelievably difficult year for so many families, but this pandemic has shown that together we can all make a big difference. Wherever you are in the country, please sign up for The Big Walk to help those facing homelessness right now.”
The Big Walk is open to everyone—and walkers can take part in any area of the UK—from country hikers to city steppers, with suggested distances of 3km, 5km or 10km.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, commented, “The devastating impact of COVID-19 is making the housing emergency worse. Our frontline services are seeing huge demand, with thousands of calls for help from people who are already homeless, or about to lose their home.
“We’re fighting hard to help as many people to find or keep hold of a safe home as we can – but as growing numbers need our help, we urgently need the public’s support this winter. Not only is The Big Walk a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but with every step, you will be helping to give a little bit of hope back to families facing some of the hardest times in their lives.”
The Big Walk is free to join and is COVID-safe. The official walking day is 10 December however, fundraisers can do their local walk anytime between 7 and 13 December.
For more information and to sign up, visit Shelter’s The Big Walk website.