A huge congratulations to Big Issue vendor Garry who returned from his epic 81 day trek from Land’s End to John O’Groats this week. Initially hoping to raise £2,000, Garry has to date raised a phenomenal £4,220.82 for The Big Issue Foundation.
Commenting on his fundraising challenge, he said:
“It’s about letting people know that there’s a big problem with social exclusion and poverty and, even though I’m homeless myself, I just want to make a small difference. I know that £2,000 isn’t a huge amount of money but the money I can raise for the Big Issue Foundation helps give people the chance to try and better their lives.”
Garry's 1500 mile route saw him travel along the South Cornish coast, up from Looe to Barnstaple and on. From Glastonbury, Garry passed through his home Bristol, before reaching Bath and continuing along the Kennet and Avon canal to Reading and London. From here, he turned North, passing Cambridge, Peterborough and Nottingham, up into the Peak District before joining the Pennine Way. Once he had made his way through the Scottish borders, Garry joined the West Highland Way which he had previously completed as a fundraising challenge for Help for Heroes. Upon reaching Fort William, he travelled along The Great Glen Way to Inverness and onwards, before reaching the farthest North coast at Cape Wrath and finally heading from there to John O'Groats- phew!
Forced to sleep rough after losing his job as a foreman on construction sites in Aberdeenshire, Garry now sells the Big Issue in Bristol. Through the Big Issue Foundation, he’s been able to access the St Mungo’s Rough Sleeper Team, get identification vital for employment and re-accessed his bank account. Alongside this, has also got a certificate in First Aid and has been employed part time by the Bristol Post.
Aside from his 1500 mile trek, Garry made the news recently by putting his First Aid training into practice helping after a traffic accident in central Bristol, gaining the praise of emergency services for his assistance. He is keen to show that homeless people can have a positive impact on society.
You can still sponsor Garry for his incredible achievement here to help more Big Issue vendors access the support they need, or find Garry back on his pitch in Bristol- hopefully resting his legs.