FOUR charity walkers are set to embark on a 160 mile trip over five days in a bid to raise awareness of the plight of 160,000 families stuck on housing waiting lists.
Fiona King, Murdo Mathison, James Battye and Zoe McGuire of Shelter Scotland want to raise £10,000 for the housing and homelessness charity by walking from Inverness to Glasgow in under five days – a gruelling 32 miles a day which will take them through the Great Glens and the West Highland Way.
The team, made up of policy and campaigns staff, have already raised more than £1,500 towards their target and will be holding car boot sales, hosting pub quizzes and running raffles in the next month in a bid to reach the £10,000 fundraising target.
They have received support from A. G. Barr who will provide water for the walkers, First Scotrail who will cover the cost of rail travel to their starting point and Haribo UK who donated a giant box of sweets.
Fiona King, Policy Officer at Shelter Scotland, said: “There are 160,000 families in Scotland on the waiting list for a home and for many there is no end in sight. This walk will be challenging, but nothing compared to the hardship and uncertainty faced by families and individuals whose only wish is to have a permanent home to call their own.
“Shelter Scotland campaigns day in, day out to help people facing housing difficulties and those at risk of homelessness. We want to go one step further, to not only raise money for Shelter Scotland but also awareness of an issue that affects so many people in society.”
The group have spent the last month training for the challenge with walks across Central and Northern Scotland, ranging from 10 mile strolls to 62 mile treks between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Fiona added: “The furthest we have walked so far has been 62 miles over two days. Before this none of us were active walkers and it’s certainly been one of the hardest things we’ve ever done. It will all be worth it when we cross the finishing line, hopefully having raised enough money to go toward Shelter Scotland’s vital work helping homeless people and those facing housing problems.”
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We are always very grateful and honoured when people choose to raise money for Shelter Scotland. Our staff work very hard all year round to help those in housing need, but it’s fantastic to see Fiona, Murdo, James and Zoe go that extra mile. All of their colleagues are cheering them on, and many will be waiting on the finishing line to congratulate them on their exceptional effort. We wish them all the best.”