I work in Birmingham city centre and almost every day I see people desperate for help, shelter and support and I would like to do something about it. In my walk to work I often have a quick chat with Martin who is always enthusiastic and friendly. Martin is the vendor just outside Paradise Form in Birmingham. It seems a good position although as it’s in the shade I know that it’s a bit of a chilly spot for him. The Big Issue does an amazing job but the challenge is enormous. And tragically two Big Issue vendors were killed in Birmingham earlier this year.
Nearly 100 people a week turn to the Big Issue for an opportunity to help themselves at a time of utter personal crisis. It can be as little as 12 months from a significant life event to losing everything and arriving on the street. Last year alone they worked with over 3000 individuals. They work with some of the most disadvantaged and excluded individuals; people who have lost more than it is comfortable to imagine, their homes, their families and their sense of themselves in the world. They urgently need to offer more support and hope for the future.
That’s why I raised money for the Big Issue Foundation back in 2007 when I completed the London Marathon. It was my first marathon and an emotional and painful experience! That eventually led me to Ironman and conquering my fear of open water swimming.
So now I am competing in Ironman Wales on 8th September - a 2.4 mile sea swim, 112 mile bike ride followed by a 26.2 mile marathon run. It's recognised as one of the toughest one-day endurance events in the world and along with 1,800 other completely mad people I've got 17 hours to complete it, otherwise no medal! This will be my fifth ironman so I know what to expect - a tough day but a quite unbelievable experience.
If you’d like to sponsor me and support the great work of The Big Issue Foundation, I’d really appreciate it and so would they. You can sponsor me at http://www.justgiving.com/Peter-Kelly7