Saturday, 9 November 2013

33. Land's End to John O'Groats walk raised £11,000 for Emmaus Oxford charity. Emmaus Cornwall. David Sansom and Robbie Brough update.

I becane friends with David Sansom and Robbie Brough, both 19,  on their charity walk through Cornwall for Emmaus Oxford earlier this year and charted their progress up to John O'Groats in 33 posts.

David recently sent me an update on what he and Robbie are up to now. He mentioned Emmaus Cornwall, so it is good to report that the first Emmaus charity shop in Cornwall is opening next Tuesday, 12 September, 2013.  Terry Waite, the president of Emmaus UK,  will formally open the shop on Saturday 30 November at noon at  Unit 1, 47 Aylmer Square, St Austell.

David's email
Monday, 30 September.

"Hi Mary,

A long time has passed since the walk and I speak on behalf of both Robbie and I when I say we're truly grateful for your hard work. 

Robbie has started university at Manchester. All things going accordingly, I hope to see him tomorrow. I have been working up in Inverness for the week, and driving back down past all of our old Scottish stomping grounds (pardon the pun). It's so surreal seeing the same places I never expected to see again, but from a completely different perspective. My Sandhurst application is all set for November. 

I really hope life is going well for you and the Emmaus Cornwall project is still set for great success.

All the best,

Terry Waite congratulated David Sansom and Robbie Brough, both 19,  after they completed the walk of 1250 miles and raised a grand total of £11,000 for the Emmaus Oxford community at 171 Oxford Road, Cowley, Oxford.

Emmaus Community House
Companions and Staff
Emmaus is an international charity which houses and gives work to the homeless, with 24 communities across the UK, including the one above in Oxford. The boys linked up with companions - the formerly homeless residents of Emmaus communities and other supporters - as they passed through Cornwall and Bristol, and were given a hero’s welcome in Oxford on their return..

Robbie Brough and David Sansom, had never done any serious walking before they set off on their mammoth journey on 1 May 2013. The boys walked an average of 20 miles a day, sleeping out for the entire journey to emulate the homeless, camping in bivouacs, and cooking their food on a portable stove.

The idea for the venture was forged when David, then 18,left St Edwards School in Oxford, and applied to join the Army. After finding that he would have to wait a year for his final assessment, he decided to use his time to get fit and prepare mentally for life as an infantry soldier for the British Army.

When Robbie Brough, also on a gap year before starting a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy at Manchester University found out about David’s proposed ‘long walk’ he jumped at the chance to join his old friend.

Robbie explained: “I feel like we have gone through a lifetime’s adventures, getting lost, walking through rain, snow and blistering sunshine, as well as wading through the sea, sleeping in pub gardens and being adopted by a lost dog.

“In our entire two-month journey we have had just a couple of ‘luxury’ rest stops where we let friends or family buy us a meal, but even at their houses we slept on the floor, and the rest of the time we have been outside, sleeping on the ground. 

“It’s been a real learning curve, not always being able to have a wash, constantly keeping moving, growing this itchy beard! I know that these things are not really representative of what it means to be homeless, but hopefully the money that we have raised will go to help people who have been.

David added: “Robbie’s mum told us about the work of Emmaus Oxford, the fact that it is a charity that doesn’t just help homeless people for a night here and there, rather it looks to the future, by providing employment and new qualifications, as well as a place to live.

“We decided that we wanted to do our long walk for long term solutions. We are lucky enough to have matched funding for our trek, so anyone who sponsors us will see their money doubled.”

Wyon Stansfeld, development manager at Emmaus Oxford said: “We kept a close eye on the boys’ progress as they travelled up the country. We are so impressed by their efforts both in walking and fundraising and grateful that they have chosen to donate the money to us.”