Oasis Community Housing supporter, Philip Le Marquand, is set to walk from London to Gateshead on Thursday 7th September to raise vital funds to support our work in tackling homelessness.
Setting off from our London-based project in Peckham, Philip aims to finish his walk at our Basis Gateshead homeless drop-in centre on Monday 2nd October after over three weeks of walking.
Dealing with grief
Philip was one of the founders of Aquila Housing Association, which later became Oasis Community Housing, nearly 40 years ago. He said, ‘The issue of homelessness has been very close all through my life. I have always had an affinity with people who were homeless.’
A personal re-exploration of his Christian faith during the death of his best friend, John, to cancer last year, led Philip to want to take on major walks, most recently including completing the 500-mile Camino pilgrimage route in Spain.
Philip explained that, ‘walking has helped with the grief. But I wanted this to be a walk that would help other people.’
Walking for hope, not homelessness
By combining his love of walking and long-held connection with homelessness, Philip will be taking on this walk from London to Gateshead to raise vital funds to support people facing homelessness.
He explains, ‘Now I’m living a nice, comfortable life, I want to do something to help. I love walking, and this is something that I can do. I want to raise some money for Oasis Community Housing, but also to raise awareness.’
He added, ‘I love Oasis’ [Community Housing] idea of giving people multiple chances. That really resonates with me.’
‘I am really looking forward to it. I love walking. I feel wonderful when I’m walking. It gives me a sense of my place in the world, and I’m so interested in the nature that I’ll see along the way.
The challenge will see Philip walk a staggering 385 miles, taking him through Peterborough, Lincoln, York and Durham ultimately arriving in Gateshead.
Raising vital funds
David Smith, CEO of Oasis Community Housing said, ‘Forty years ago, Phillip was one of those compassionate people who helped ignite our work of supporting people who are homeless. We love the fact that, all these years later, we’re still benefiting from his commitment and compassion.
‘Phillip’s walking challenge both shines a light on the effect that trauma and grief can have on those facing homelessness, and at the same time raises vital funds that will help people who’re homelessness. We’re so honoured he’s supporting us in this way.’
By taking a holistic approach to tackling homelessness, the funds raised from Philip’s walk will help us to continue to provide crisis support, temporary and supported accommodation, domestic abuse support and other services to adults, young people and families experiencing homelessness in the North-East, South London and Peterborough.
Inspired by Philip’s challenge? Want to take on a fundraising challenge for yourself? We would love to support you!
Speak to our Individuals and Communities Fundraising Manager, Joanne Armstrong, for support with organising you’re own event: