A HOMELESS man has raised almost £3,000 for charity in the first three weeks of a six-month-long trek across the Scottish wilderness.
Self-employed tiler, Wayne Hall (46), set off on the expedition in February and has been eating mostly off the land after embarking on the 184-day trek. He has already endured sub-zero temperatures, sleet and snow to raise money for housing and homelessness charity, Shelter Scotland.
Surviving mostly on a diet of fish, berries and edible plants, Wayne expects to lose 30lbs during the trek, although he admits he has accepted ‘the occasional bacon buttie’ from kind-hearted strangers in the small villages he has visited.
Wayne Hall said:
“The dog and I have enjoyed every minute of the trip so far but it’s also really hit home why we’re doing this.
“There have been a few mornings when we’ve woken up to find the water bottle and food completely frozen, and that’s inside a good-quality tent. I can’t imagine what it’s like for people who have to sleep rough night after night.
“After all, I’ve chosen to do this. There are so many homeless people and families who simply don’t have a choice about sleeping in cold, damp housing for months and even years on end. I’m really proud to have raised almost £3,000, but there’s a long road ahead before I reach my £10,000 target.”
Wayne, from Staffordshire, lost his home of nine years after his landlord died and the property was inherited and sold. Shocked at how quickly he went from living a secure and stable life to facing homelessness, Wayne decided to raise awareness and funds for Shelter Scotland.
For the past three weeks, his days have consisted of packing up his frozen camp and getting everything in the canoe to catch the high tide at 4am, before watching the sunrise, gathering food and setting up camp somewhere new. He also finds time to keep his 500 Facebook followers up to date with regular updates.
“I chose to raise funds for Shelter Scotland because I empathise with anyone who has lost the roof over their head. The one thing that is getting me through the cold, wet and snow is the thought of raising money to help others in my situation. I’d like to thank everyone who has donated and all those kind-hearted strangers who have brought me warm cups of tea, the occasional bacon buttie or given me access to their WiFi.”
Gordon MacRae, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, said:
“We’ve been keeping a close eye on Wayne’s blog and we’re delighted that he’s managed to raise so much money in such a short space of time. £3,000 is enough to help us to answer 300 phone calls to our free national helpline from families and individuals on the brink of homelessness or facing damp, cold and dangerous living conditions.
“Without the generosity and support of people like Wayne – and everyone who has helped him raise £3,000 – our work to end Scotland’s housing crisis for good would be much harder.
“We wish Wayne and Jerry the best of luck as they continue on their adventure. We look forward to catching up with them in August when they cross the finishing line.”
Wayne and Jerry’s trip started at Loch Morar in the Highlands on 25th February. The pair will travel across Scotland, stopping at 25 lochs on the way. They’ll complete the expedition on Wayne’s 47th birthday at Galloway Forest Park on 27th August.
Notes to Editors:
1. Shelter Scotland helps over half a million people a year struggling with bad housing or homelessness – and we campaign to prevent it in the first place. We’re here so no-one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own. For advice and support visit www.shelterscotland.org or call 0808 800 4444.
2. Spokespeople are available for interview – call the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line is available for broadcast interviews.
3. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterscotland Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland
Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
Contact: Shelter Scotland