On 10 December, people across the country can join a nationwide effort in the fight against homelessness by taking part in The Big Walk for Shelter.
Among them will be father and son TV personalities, Bradley and Barney Walsh – stars of the award-winning Breaking Dad television series – along with comedian and TV panel show regular, Ed Byrne. They will be joined by leading social influencer and founder of Dope Black Dads, Marvyn Harrison, who is also appealing to people from the country’ black community to go on their own Covid-safe ‘Big Walks’ to raise funds for the charity’s frontline work.
New government figures show that in the first few months of the pandemic, a household became homeless every three minutes in England. And with a challenging winter ahead, Shelter’s housing and homelessness services are as vital as ever.
Bradley, Barney and their beloved dog Lulu will be breathing in the fresh countryside air with their own Covid-safe walk across the fields near the family home in Essex. But the fundraising event is open to everyone, everywhere – whether they are a country rambler, city ambler or steady stepper, with suggested distances of 3km, 5km or 10km.
Bradley Walsh said: “I’m so excited about doing my own walk in Essex – alongside my son Barney and our family dog – and joining people across the country who’ll be walking to support Shelter’s fight against homelessness. It’s been an unbelievably difficult year for so many families, but this pandemic has shown that together we can all make a big difference. Wherever you are in the country, please sign up for The Big Walk to help those facing homelessness right now.”
The economic turmoil caused by coronavirus means many people are facing homelessness for the first time and need the help of charities like Shelter to see them through the crisis. By signing up to The Big Walk and raising funds for Shelter, people can make a real difference wherever they are. For example, £5 could pay for an expert adviser to open a webchat query providing crucial online support and advice; £10 could answer a call to Shelter’s national emergency helpline; and £40 could pay for an in-depth session with a trained housing adviser.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “The devastating impact of Covid-19 is making the housing emergency worse. Our frontline services are seeing huge demand, with thousands of calls for help from people who are already homeless, or about to lose their home.
“We’re fighting hard to help as many people to find or keep hold of a safe home as we can – but as growing numbers need our help, we urgently need the public’s support this winter. Not only is The Big Walk a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but with every step you will be helping to give a little bit of hope back to families facing some of the hardest times in their lives.”
Signing up for The Big Walk is free, Covid-safe and open to everyone.10 December is the big day; however, participants can do their local walk anytime between 7 and 13 December. For more information and to sign up, go to https://thebigwalk.shelter.org.uk/. And for the latest coronavirus guidance in your local area, please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.