Walking Home for Christmas.

Every year approximately 15,000 skilled and capable men and women leave the Armed Forces having selflessly served on behalf of their country.
— https://walkinghomeforchristmas.com/about.html

A little bit about Walking Home for Christmas...

Walking Home For Christmas is a campaign organised by Walking with the Wounded in support of  vulnerable veterans in the UK who are struggling to reintegrate into society. Fundraising directly supports WWTW’s programmes to proactively reach out to the most ‘at risk’ ex servicemen and women with mental, physical or social injuries and support them to regain their independence after walking in far more dangerous environments for us.

This support focuses on 3 key challenges:

  • Head Start; which provides 1-2-1 private therapy for ex-service personnel with mild to moderate mental health difficulties such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and adjustment disorder.
  • Home Straight; helping to secure positive employment outcomes for unemployed veterans.
  • Project Nova; Identifying and supporting veterans who have been arrested or are at risk of arrest, to prevent further downward spiral and continued offending by supporting them back into mainstream society.

The campaign has so far  raised nearly half a million pounds to date to support ex military with mental, physical or social injuries to regain their independence. 

Walking from Rugby to Northampton 

I set off on the morning of the 21st of December, locking up my uni digs and heading out a few hours later than planned, recording my journey on Instagram and Twitter: 

  1. In one last hurrah to student life, a pair of reduced chicken meals kept my stomach doing summersaults till well past 3am last night. Hoped to be up at 5:30am but just about crawled out at 7:30. Not the best start to my #WalkingHomeForChristmas effort!
  2. On the train to Rugby now. First steps towards home at about 9:25. 2h behind schedule.
  3. 2h in. 10km done already. The fog is making many of these country lanes and tree lined footpaths feel very eerie.
  4. Residents of Long Buckby may begin to hear the faint and distant sounds of a very poorly sung rendition of Frank Turner's new album as I approach the halfway mark. Shoulders beginning to hurt now. 
  5. More earth stuck to my boots than there is in the entirety of Birmingham city.
  6. Old looking geezer behind me has kept pace for about a kilometre now. Either I’m slowing or Northamptonshire boasts some very fit grandads.
  7. Is the thing about 3 drains being bad luck if you walk over them true? Asking for a friend...
  8. Kilometre 39 and I’ve just walked passed a McDonalds and had an existential crisis... 1km to go!
  9. If I play “Mans not hot” at exactly 18:59:32 I’ll hear “The ting goes skrrrahh Pap, pap, ka-ka-ka” exactly when my mum opens the front door. Kilometre 40 almost done!
  10. Arrived home at 19:00 having set off at 9:30 in Rugby. Feeling very tired but very pleased to have accomplished this! 40km Walker for #walkinghomeforchristmas campaign. Check it out!