Starting on the 17th December, Paul will be undertaking an epic journey to walk home in time for Christmas. Beginning in central Edinburgh he will travel at least 30 miles a day on foot, following the Forth Estuary to North Berwick, before crossing the border and heading down the coast to Tynemouth, then walking in land to Newcastle and eventually arriving at his father’s home in Wylam on Christmas Eve – ready to enjoy his well-earned Christmas dinner. To add to the challenge of this 230 mile trek, Paul will be forgoing the comforts of a hotel and spending his nights sleeping rough.
He is doing all of this in order to raise money to support the work of Walking with the Wounded, a charity which helps injured veterans to return to a normal life. An important part of their work is to aid ex-military personnel who find themselves living on the streets – an incredible 1 in 10 rough sleepers are veterans. The primary reason for this is that injuries sustained whilst on service prevent them for finding long term employment. Along with the profound difficulties of physical disabilities or illness, many veterans suffer from mental illness, which is sometimes much harder to diagnose or understand. Indeed, for every one physically wounded veteran, five will develop some form of mental injury. All of the money raised by everyone across the country who ‘walk home for Christmas’ will go to Walking with the Wounded’s ‘Home Straight’ programme, which aims to work with local professionals to provide employment solutions for wounded, injured, sick or mentally ill homeless veterans, within a supportive environment. Paul’s goal is to raise as much money as he can to help with this important cause. Please help cheer him along by following our updates on the Buildings Team blog and Beamish’s social media.