Louise’s story

I had no hesitation in joining this year's Big Night Walk having volunteered last year and enjoyed the atmosphere it created.  As a solo walker with less than perfect map-reading skills I felt that I should at least tag along with some other soloists....I'd assessed myself as a slow walker though...they might all be fast! Once checked in and kitted out, a lovely atmosphere was created by the choir as we waited for the proceedings to start.  It is humbling and vital to hear from vendors and those affected by homelessness, we know why we are doing this but hearing real stories from vendors such as Bill, puts a stamp on things. Having survived CJ's warm up exercises and grabbed a chance to say 'hi' to James and Bob - and a photo, it was time to set off, very quickly I fell into step with Jenny and Sue - a vendor herself - twelve miles - hmm, we'd be fine.....then it started raining.  Gradually though we fell in with other solo walkers and after the first rest stop we walked with Anna, one of the lovely TBIF staff.  Our team grew as we went - Sue, Jenny, Anna, Jim & Angela as well as myself. Walking through a few of the less quiet areas of our capital, with people out 'enjoying' their Friday night  - really did highlight why sleeping rough at night isn't safe for those in that situation (even at 3am); this provided a clear perspective as we walked from street to street and finally back to the safety of St John's Church. Don't be put off doing this walk if you're a solo walker - you will soon make friends; there is something about this event that brings people together in the most unique way!

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