Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A Walk With A Difference

On the 8th of August last year an ex-soldier started a walk with a difference, one which will take between 18 months and 2 years to complete.

Christian Nock, 38, is taking on the challenge of walking round the coast of Britain to raise awareness of homelessness ex-military personnel and to raise money for Help for Heroes. Auch, it's been done before you may say and you'd be right, but Christian's project is a little different.  He is sleeping rough every night along the way.

To begin with he had little publicity but, thanks to social media, his efforts are now recognised. He has now received equipment donations from Berkshire Outdoor Leisure and Terra Nova and updates people on his progress through his Facebook page.

On Monday Christian was escorted over London Bridge by the Household Cavalry today and also had a meeting with a couple of MPs.  Only a couple.

If you'd like to keep up with his progress you can read about it here.  Even better, when he arrives in Scotland and if you live near the coast, then you could offer to take him out for a beer, or better still, the use of your garage or garden shed.

Christian started his walk in Blackpool where he used to run a hotel.  He decided to sell up and 'do something'.  Although the walk has been very tough at times he says his faith in human nature has been restored and is so grateful for people's kindnesses.

Being homeless is fairly common among the ex-military. Having spent years working around the world some have been unable to put down roots by having a home of their own.  The homelessness causes all sorts of other problems and we have far too many ex-service personnel in prisons.  For years charities such as SSAFA have tried to help by contacting councils etc., but what is needed is a government funded charity which is effective.  Perhaps the likes of the many anti-alcohol and anti-tobacco 'charities' could afford to lose a little of their funding to support a truly worthy cause.

It's sad, when we're continually told we're a caring society, that the military are treated as second class citizens when they return to civilian life.


Joe Public said...

Thanks for publicising his efforts, Rosie.

If he had that other famous ex-squaddie Stephen Gough as a walking companion, I'm sure he'd get numerous column-inches in the press every day.

dognamedblue said...

I've always said, well ok just to myself, that you get a free home after military service, but there would be some changes, first would be minimum 8 years service, then 3 years psych evaluation post service compulsory, then if 4 more years then things like free council tax

but as you can see from all the governments people vote for this is unlikely to happen anytime soon

subrosa said...

Indeed Joe. His posts on Facebook are very entertaining.

subrosa said...

Dognamedblue, I don't think veterans would expect anything for free but I do think they deserve better than what is offered at present.

For example, civilian medics don't have a clue about the situation on the front line so are unable to spot problems.

Mind you, your ideas are good.

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