Walking the Wall for Homeless Charity Centrepoint

This Christmas, outdoor writer Phoebe Smith aims to walk the length of Hadrian's Wall to raise funds and awareness for Centrepoint, the leading charity for homeless young people.

Hadrian's Wall at Steel Rig, 82 kb
Hadrian's Wall at Steel Rig
© knthrak1982, Dec 2008

To date her series of Extreme Sleep Out fundraisers have raised over £28,000 in support of Centrepoint, and she hops the latest venture will take the total well past £30,000.

Dressed as 'Wander Woman' she will be starting on 21st December (the shortest day of the year) in Sunderland - where Centrepoint's northern office is based - and then walking 100 miles over the following four days.

"You can't wild camp on the wall - it's illegal, so I will have to walk slow and steady throughout the night, in cold and dark conditions" said Phoebe.

"I will have little rest, miss out on festivities with my family and friends and, to top it all off, will be doing it all in costume."

Yes, she's really going to be wearing this..., 107 kb
Yes, she's really going to be wearing this...
© Centrepoint

Phoebe, who is president of the Long Distance Walkers Association, feels that giving up her Christmas is well worth it to highlight the plight of the many thousands of young homeless people who have to also keep moving throughout the night, unable to sleep anywhere legally and safely, every single night.

"I am lucky enough to have an end date to my challenge, but there are so many who don't. Their walk will seem endless - and would be if it wasn't for organisations like Centrepoint who not only help house them, but also teach life skills and offer ongoing support."

Last year over 100,000 young people approached Centrepoint for help.

"I get to choose to do my crazy challenge, but they do not," says Phoebe, "and I hope every step I take is one step closer to stop[ping] another young person from living on the streets."

Phoebe is attempting to raise £5,000 which could provide 200 young people with a counselling session with a mental health care professional. Counselling and psychological support play a huge part in tackling the root causes of homelessness, say Centrepoint, as they help young people come to terms with their past and look forward to their future.

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