600 support charity walk for St Basils

The Waterloo Housing Group team, which included members from one of its contractors Woodland Property Services, at the finish line of the Forest of Dean walk for St Basils

The Waterloo Housing Group team, which included members from one of its contractors Woodland Property Services, at the finish line of the Forest of Dean walk for St Basils

More than 600 big-hearted supporters stepped out for St Basils to take part in the homelessness charity’s annual fundraising walk in the Forest of Dean.

St Basils’ walk, which is sponsored by Bournville based Mondelēz International, takes place in a different part of the country each year. This was St Basils’ 16th walk but the charity’s first in the Forest of Dean.

Every annual walk is carefully designed to offer a varied course with picturesque scenery.

Steve Rainbow from St Basils said: “We were lucky to have a glorious day with wall to wall sunshine, which really set off the stunning views from Symonds Yat Rock, the highest point of this year’s walk.

“Then by contrast, walkers enjoyed the slight breeze afforded from walking close to the River Wye and then the relative shelter of the trees close to the cycle centre.

“More experienced walkers taking on the 26-mile challenge, got to explore much more of the ancient forest with its tightly packed 40-foot pine trees – said to have inspired JRR Tolkien.”

Steve said people from all across the Midlands took part in this year’s walk, including many members of the region’s Irish community.

One of the teams taking part was from Waterloo Housing Group.

First timer Mark Taylor from Waterloo said: “St Basils does great work with homeless young people and we wanted to support this event to help make a difference. We thought the walk was excellent – very well organised and a great experience.”

Lucy Hackett, head of fundraising at St Basils, said: “Both the excellent feedback and the smiles on people’s faces as they neared the finish line proved most teams relished this year’s challenge.

“We would like to thank all our walkers for the amazing effort they put in and we would also like to thank all their friends, families and colleagues for sponsoring them to do this event.

“Their efforts and support will help homeless young people access opportunities such as university, apprenticeships and jobs, which will help secure their futures away from the cycle of homelessness that exclusion from opportunities can cause.”