Many of our young people have experienced sleeping rough, suffer from a range of mental health difficulties and face financial difficulties with the little benefits they receive. The money raised from this walk will go towards support packages for the young people. This may come in the form of; topping up gas and electricity, food packages, household essentials, the ability to engage in community sports, travel to and from education/employment, or the ability to engage in support for mental and physical well-being.
As many of our young people have experienced sleeping rough, we will be relying solely on the help of friends/colleagues who live along our route walk to support us with sleeping arrangements – this will be in the form of sofa surfing and/or using their grounds to sleep in. Alternatively, if we are unable to secure somewhere to sleep, we will be sleeping rough and camping. We will also be living on the weekly benefit some of our young people are expected to survive on. Many of our young people receive Universal Credit (UC) without the housing element, which equates to approximately £49 a week. We will be rounding that up to £50 each for food/water/somewhere to sleep for the duration of the walk. We are hoping for donations for our walk in terms of camping equipment – any donations we will be paying forward after our walk and giving the donated items to local hubs around Belfast that support homeless individuals.
We hope this walk will also shed some light on the many benefits of being immersed in nature, not only the physical benefits but also the mental/emotional benefits gained from being with friends, sharing stories and walking.
Please donate what you can: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/laura-lapham1