A 70-year old man arrived in Coleraine on Saturday as part of an 18-month sponsored walk to raise £100,000 for The Salvation Army’s work with homeless people and victims of human trafficking.
Andy Peddle started his epic journey on 16 May at the Shetland Islands and, having arrived in Ireland, will walk to 32 Salvation Army Churches (Corps), Lifehouses and charity shops.
He is donning a top hat and tails as he walks to the majority of Salvation Army churches (Corps), Lifehouses and charity shops in the UK – totalling 7,900 miles or 15 million steps.
The walk is taking him past every ground in the football league. When he arrives at each Salvation Army base, he will give a talk about the issues of human trafficking and homelessness and will then sing the anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
Andy turned 70 during his walkathon and hopes to raise awareness and much-needed funds to help others.
He said: “The Salvation Army has a long history of offering practical support to people who are vulnerable or in need. We are there for 3,500 homeless men, women and families every night.
“The Salvation Army’s saying – ‘Heart to God, hand to man’ has inspired me to take on this challenge. It is a personal pilgrimage too – we are renting out our home and my wife has re-located to Leeds whilst I am raising the money. I have a support van following me on my trek so I can have a break and sleep wherever needed.”
Andy is keen to see people support him by doing their own ‘mini’ sponsored walks of one mile or more – and for them to put pictures of the places they visit on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
He added: “I want people over the age of 65 to realise that life does go on and that you can volunteer and get involved. I would love to see as many people as possible support me.”
Major Alan Watters, Divisional Leader of The Salvation Army in Ireland said: “It is fantastic that Andy is taking on this personal pilgrimage to help those truly in need and who have a contribution to offer in our society.”
Andy did an 8,000 mile walk 20 years ago to raise money for starving people in Africa. He attends The Salvation Army in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.