The 25 mile challenge walk that was undertaken on 8th September to create a new ‘City Fund’ that MK Community Foundation will use to help the homeless in Milton Keynes, was a huge success.
The target that was set of £5,000 was substantially exceeded, with the total coming in at over £6,000! The money was raised through the event’s JustGiving page. The walk, organised by Interdirect, Howes Percival, Milton Keynes College and Xero, will help to support various charities and services that aim to assist people who are homeless to get back on their feet.
Homelessness is a growing concern in Milton Keynes, with 61 families registered as homeless and 27 confirmed rough sleepers, with another 31 reported in 2016; this equates to a 237% increase from 2013 (Vital Signs 2016). The money raised will offer much-needed help to these people in need and help to provide them with stability.
The walk was undertaken by 80 dedicated volunteers; divided into four parts, the route took the participants through countryside and Parks Trust walkways, including Willen Lake and alongside many canals, reservoirs and rivers.
Although the walk was met by some ill weather, that did nothing to dampen the spirits of the members of the walk.
Ian Revell, the Chief Executive of MK Community Foundation undertook the walk alongside fellow team member Nicholas Brinner. Ian explains how he prepared for the walk:
“I did two or three walks beforehand with the family with my Nordic poles…I knew that when I set out it was going to be tough, but that I could do it…that was the main thing.”
Ian reveals the increasing difficulty as the walk progressed:
“When I passed Campbell Park, which was the first stage…goodness! That’s where I felt it.”
Although as he goes on to explain, the ending was the hardest part to endure:
“You came out of the North Lake of Caldecott…and you can see the finishing line…I got there and saw a few people finishing and I thought…swimming might be an option!”
Although the walk was a real challenge, he described how nice it was to be a part of such a successful event, which will really positively impact people in need:
“There was a real feeling of people achieving something…this is the start of the cold season for the vulnerable and homeless…the money is needed now more than ever…. I am in pain and I am hurting, but that’s nothing compared to the beneficiaries of the fund.”
With the walk being such a success this year, there are hopes that another one can be planned, so that even more disadvantaged people can benefit next year.
Thank you to Urban Crane Films who volunteered their time to make this short film about the day.
To watch the film click here