I am currently running 1 campaign for Survivors UK to raise awareness about Sexual Abuse & Violence particularly among Men. Please see details below & if your heart is drawn to donate, please do.
The main aim of this campaign is to raise awareness about a number of topics.
On May 10th 2016 I wish to embark on a long distance walk (roughly 650 miles) from Hebden Bridge (Yorkshire) to John O’ Groats (Most northern point of Scotland). I will be doing walk in 2 stages, the 1st stage from Hebden Bridge to Dufton (Cumbria). This stage is going to take me 8 – 9 days. I am doing this small stage before the long 2nd stage in June to sample my equipment and get a good feeling of what I will need to change (if anything) for the 520 mile 2nd stage. I am aiming to finish the 2nd stage in 5 weeks. from Dufton to John O Groats. I will be wild camping for the most part but will occasionally be staying in B n B’s & hostels here and there. I will be setting off from Hebden Bridge (Pennine Way), going north walking through the Yorkshire Dales. I will be walking the Pennine Way up until Byrness where I will branch off towards Jedburgh entering into Scotland. From there, I head towards Edinburgh. Now from Edinburgh, I will head North West towards North of Glasgow on the West Highland way, up to towards Lock Lomand than fort William. Than onto Inverness joining onto the Eastern coast up towards John O groats. It sounds easy when explaining like that in a few lines! However, I will keep off road and will be sticking to walking trails and those who know the varying natural terrains of the UK will know that I will be walking through & near to hills, mountains, munro’s, forests, lakes, waterfalls, valleys, villages & towns.
Charitable motivations (Survivors UK) – After thinking long and hard, and taking time to thoroughly research some charities. I came across Survivors UK. Their mission is to help men who have been sexually abused and raises awareness of their needs. It is statistically documented that 3 in 20 men are affected by sexual violence. After a conversation with their Chief Executive, I knew this was the charity I was to fund raise for. Whilst the topic of raising awareness about sexual abuse amongst both men & woman is necessary, there is a lack of resources and communication especially for male survivors. Survivors of rape who have suffered, often don’t know where to turn. With the varying levels of conditioning, the attitude that is often found amongst most men tackling any trauma is ‘just to man up’. I have witnessed & experienced this approach to be highly unproductive & further damaging. ALL survivors, both male & female, of any trauma, whether it be physical, emotional, sexual, psychological or even spiritual need the opportunity to heal. No matter what it is most people hold an amount of pain about something, & live with this suppressed emotion. ‘coping mechanisms’ are created because dealing with emotions can often seem uncomfortable or overwhelming. This can often manifest into negative patterns, and sometimes worse.
I hope to further raise awareness about suicide amongst men. Another topic I feel that is not touched upon at all by the media or still seen as a taboo. Suicide rates among men are at the highest since 2001. Suicide is the biggest killer in the UK amongst men. More so than cancer. Through my experience anyone I have openly conversed with about the topic has admitted they have had or are having suicidal thoughts. It is quite common, and because one shows a smile it doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy. Males who have these thoughts often feel demasculated & I believe there is nothing more masculine than being aware, fearless of emotions & thoughts, accepting them. This takes so much more than to brush them off and ignore.
Whilst raising awareness about this topic I’m also trying to encourage sufferers of any kind to embrace the fact that ‘its okay to not be okay’. This was a message passed onto me from a teacher some years ago. Approaching emotions without fear, approaching trauma without judgement and eventually overcoming is an amazing process.
I have set my initial target as £1000 with the aim to raise that target once its met.
Personal motivations –
‘One step at a time is good walking’
As simple as it sounds, I walk because I like walking. When I walk, I walk. There usually is no aim, apart from the act of being present in my motions and footsteps. By the day, I will be focused on each foot step. I suppose for me, this can be described as a pilgrimage, a pilgrimage is traditionally a journey to a place of spiritual importance. I will be documenting my trip through an online blog whenever I have the opportunity (every few days) & by simply showing my journey I hope to remind people of how beautiful this land is. I hope to outline the importance of meditative practises, being present & how at times living away from our comforts can be hugely beneficial. Meditation & interior prayer is a daily practise for me. When I have clients come to me seeking healing for various problems, it is not my job to analyse the problems but to simply help bring the person from darkness to light, this is where individuals come to their own realizations and understandings. It is always a case of ‘letting go’. Easy principles in theory, can seem difficult in practise. I will be explaining techniques also through my blog as I go along. I will be documenting what I will be doing , from thoughts to feelings, to the weather, my equipment, what my body is going through, and how the external environment appears to me.
If you feel this is cause you are wanting to help with & make this walk worthwhile please donate or share this page on your social media.