Soles Journey – John O Groats to Land’s End

I am starting a series of posts that follow a campaign to raise money for Crisis the homeless charity. I have added a page to my website Here’s the deal. Julia, my sister, now in her 60’s, is going to run the length of Britain. That’s normally 874 miles. But she will be visiting nearly all the Crisis Skylights on the way which makes the journey 1051 miles.  The kicker is she is doing it barefoot! Can she do it? Well 3 years ago she ran the length of Spain, which is 660 miles.

I know most of you are fundraisers for a cause… But you may want to help, support, encourage, or even join in this campaign. I have fundraised professionally for various charities but also support several others.

You can visit her website and learn why she has chosen homelessness and made Crisis the focus of her effort. You can even join her on the route and run a bit of the way with her. It will cost you….£100. But being associated with Fundraising I guess you will all be able to get people to sponsor you for a lot more! Literally fundraising on the run.

The story will unfold here and through her website blogs, vlogs and podcasts. It is a huge challenge and being done very publicly for Crisis makes the commitment even more noteworthy. You will be able to follow the journey step by step. But for the moment you need to be patient. It takes time to build the strength and fitness and the resilience of her feet through her training regime. So the start date is May 2022 on her 63rd birthday. But you can join the experience now. Follow her development as she works up to the challenge.

The past year has revealed many things about both society and ourselves. In particular how physical and mental wellbeing have been impacted by the strictures of lockdown. For Julia running has always part of her existence and she has achieved at the top level, winner of the Dublin Marathon for instance. Her book “Running to Learn” explains how this activity has informed her life and how Running imparts not just physical benefit but mental health as well.

This is not just a physical challenge but a spiritual journey. It is also a metaphor for the journey of life, taking us across our self-imposed borders. The kicker is she is doing it barefoot! We all face challenges: in some we succeed, in some we fall short. It is a situation that most homeless people have had to face. There are a multitude of reasons that people are homeless. In her early morning running round London, Julia has talked with homeless people and learned about their situation.

Mazlow’s Heirarchy of Needs states that physiological needs: food, water, shelter and warmth need to be satisfied before the higher activities of self actualisation and achievement can be productively engaged.

Homelessness is the de-motivator and destroyer of dreams. You can help people recover their hope and ambition and create productive and fulfilling lives. Visit the Just Giving page on Julia’s website Join the journey.