I will be 50 in September and want to do something to remember this year and also to help others. I plan to trek the Great Wall of China in October 2016, by joining a group with Charity Challenge. This is a 9 day trek and we will spend 5 days on the wall, navigating over 10,000 steps and very steep ascents/ descents. I will be travelling alone and will meet the group at Heathrow, before flying to Beijing. I am not hugely fit so the next 8 months will be spent training and getting into shape, as the going will be quite tough - this in itself will be a huge challenge for me, along with fundraising.
I will pay for the trip myself so all funds raised will go direct to the 2 charities I am supporting - Greater Manchester Homeless Night Shelters https://gmwns.wordpress.com/ and Step Forward http://www.stepforward.org.uk Please have a look at the websites and see all the great work that takes place!
I work for the charity "Step Forward" and we support disadvantaged young people, ex offenders and wounded/ injured service personel to find volunteer placements in their local area. Volunteering helps them to improve their confidence, learn new skills, re-engage with their community and hopefully move into paid work, trainining, college or an apprenticeship. We support them throughout the process and any funds raised, would go towards the running of the various projects.
I volunteer at the homeless night shelter in Manchester and we provide accommodation for up to 12 men each evening, during the cold weather period of January-mid March. Facilities within the churches are limited and we rely on donations, to provide clean bedding and a warm meal. The plan is to expand the night shelters for Winter 2016/17 and offer accommodation to women and young people, as well as men. All funds would be used to buy beds, bedding, blankets, essential toiletries, drinks, food and maybe some leisure activities such as games, books and music. It is heart breaking to see grown men sleeping in camp beds and eating left over unwanted food - I believe everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, no matter their background, ethnicity or personal circumstances.
Both charities provide such a worthwhile service and without additional funding, cannot provide all the extras needed to give people that extra helping hand. With my very daunting trek and your very kind donations, together we can make a difference to the lives of people, who really need our help. Thank you so much for any support you can offer, it is very much appreciated.
Thank you to James White for the photographs of the Nightshelter volunteers - www.jameswhitephotography.co.uk