Local man Pete Bastable walks to raise money for the homeless

A local man on a mission, Pete Bastable, undertook 50 miles of the South Downs Way in order to raise awareness and funds for the homeless and the local charity Worthing Churches Homeless Projects.

Pete’s story

Walking in my hometown of Worthing, I would pass people on the pavement, the homeless. In the past I would have never given them a second thought but one day somebody asked for some small change. They made eye contact with me and I saw for the first time a person a human being who required a bit of help. I gave some loose change and went on with my day. Something clicked that day and I couldn’t pass anybody without giving something if I had it, sometimes a sarnie or a coffee.

I started to engage in small talk and soon discovered that a lot of these folk were not drug users or alcoholics but people that had fallen into a vicious cycle that they could not break on their own and need help from society to help break the bad situation they are in. It’s a known fact that if you have no address you cannot receive benefits or hold a bank account or get a job, no money, no home, no home, no money and so it goes on.

It dawned on me that I could help in some small way to raise some much needed cash for the homeless in my town. I am a keen out doors person and study bush craft as a hobby, everybody knows who Ray Mears is right?

Much of my out of doors life is spent walking so I decided to carry out a sponsored walk. I thought the South Downs Way sounded a good option so decided to walk 50 miles (about half) from Eastbourne to Findon to raise funds, and to cross off one of those things on my bucket list.

I got some sponsorship together from friends and family and opened a crowd funding page on JustGiving, started a Facebook page and finally after research of the local charities in Worthing decided the best to approach was to link my fundraising efforts to Worthing Churches Homeless Projects. After talking to Charlie Chesman, Community Fundraiser for WCHP, in a meeting to outline my intensions the project began.

After completing the walk I manage to gather a nice sum of money in very kind sponsorship from the public, friends, family and work colleagues. I was even lucky enough to be offered a very generous donation from my work at Chandlers BMW Worthing which really boosted the total.

I would just like to add that it’s so easy to just stop listen and just give time to people who really appreciate being treated and seen as human beings especially at a time of need. We take for granted our homes, cars, friends and family, even the warm clean clothes on our backs. All these folk need is a chance and a feeling that they belong.

It feels great that I have, I hope helped in some very small way, maybe others will too. I will definitely do something again.

A worthy cause

Charlie Chesman, Community Fundraiser for Worthing Churches Homeless Projects, said “It’s fantastic to see people like Pete undertake something challenging for a worthy cause, when we met Pete was passionate about helping the local homeless and through his walk he really has! Pete has raised £1000 which will go a long way in helping, this enough to run our Worthing St Clare’s Community Hub for one day, including specialist staff. St Clare’s Community Hub is the first port of call for many men and women who are rough sleeping or insecurely housed. Thank you again Pete for you fantastic achievement!”.

If you are inspired by Pete’s walk, why not take part in a smaller-scale but still challenging event, Go the Distance, which WCHP are holding on Sunday 30th September to raise funds as well as celebrate their rebrand. Walk, jog or run 5km or 10km along Worthing beach and back along the promenade, raising money and awareness to help end local homelessness. To register for this event please visit http://www.wchp.org.uk/go-the-distance/ or call the Fundraising team on 01903 680740.

For more information or to take part in the inaugural Go the Distance event, please visit http://www.wchp.org.uk/go-the-distance/ or call 01903 680740

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