The Turning Tides Project CIC took on the incredible challenge of walking 140 miles, or 280,000 steps, during December, raising an amazing £595 for The Big Issue Foundation.
The number of steps walked is particularly significant because the estimated number of homeless people in the UK in 2019 was 280,000 people (according to statistics from Shelter).
Roger from The Turning Tides Project talks about the Big Walk and why they decided to take on this challenge for The Big Issue Foundation:
“At The Turning Tides Project, we follow a Social Model approach: the idea that people are not inherently disabled, but rather that people are disabled by the society that we live in. We wanted to fundraise partly to be part of the change that we want to see in the world and partly to show that ‘disabled people’ can be part of the solution.
One of the reasons why we decided to support the Big Issue is because we think that you share similar values to us. What we aim to do is work with people with learning disability labels and autism labels to create equal access to music, arts, and life by creating an inclusive environment where everyone can contribute and feel valued by themselves and others.
The Big Issue does a similar thing: providing access to services and support for people to do valuable things and to work towards feeling valued and being independent. It’s also our view that homelessness is not a ‘one size fits all’ issue and that individuals have their own stories, challenges, and paths – in a similar way to the people who are part of the Turning Tides Project and people in a more general sense.
We thought that doing a Big Walk, especially over Autumn and Winter, would help us to get outside and feel the benefits of exercise! We also thought that it might give us just a little bit of insight into the conditions that homeless people may have to deal with. There were certainly some lovely sunny days, but also some bitterly cold, wet days.
Overall, it was a great few weeks and we went away with a wonderful feeling of having contributed positively to society and helping others. It was also amazing to develop ourselves and walk a lot further than we thought we would be able to. In the end, our fundraiser managed to raise £595 which we are really proud of! We’ve now started another fundraiser: a litter pick for Sea Shepherd UK.”
“It felt really good to be part of a group raising money for a really important cause. It was great to have exercise too. My dog also really enjoyed getting out and having a run.” – Abbie
“This is an important issue and it’s very important that we come together like this and remember those who are in a less fortunate position than us. It gives us a moment to appreciate what we have in life.” – Polly
“I thoroughly enjoyed having the good exercise and having a worthwhile purpose behind it” – Sam
Interested in organising your own challenge? Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or read more here