This winter, thousands of people will be Walking Home For Christmas in support of armed forces veterans across the country. The campaign, which runs from 9 to 20 December, is Walking With The Wounded’s (WWTW) annual nationwide fundraising walking challenge to support its work across mental health and employment.
Whether it’s a short walk a day, a more challenging distance over the 12 days, or joining one of the organised regional walks in London, Newcastle and Manchester on Friday 9 December, walkers can take part in a way that suits them. Some choose to walk alone, others get together with family, friends, or colleagues – all do it to raise money for veterans.
The regional walks are new for 2022, and part of the organisation’s desire to bring people together and celebrate community after some challenging years for all. Each walk has two 10km legs, and participants can join one or both, or walk as far they feel able to. The first leg starts at 11am, and the second at 2pm.
The London start point is the Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial near Westminster. Walkers will head west along the Thames Path (North Side) to Battersea Park and the Thames Path (South Side) before hitting the midway point at Wandsworth Bridge. At 2pm they will start the second leg, again along the Thames Path (North Side) to Central London passing the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Buckingham Palace and Horseguards Parade, before finishing at the iconic Cenotaph.
Joe Cox is an Army Cadet Lead in south-west London. He says: “I believe very strongly that we should support our veterans – it’s a passion that has become embedded within me. I feel our veterans are being forgotten about and left behind too often and we need to change this.
“Walking Home For Christmas is therefore a great opportunity to support out veterans, raise the profile for Walking With The Wounded, as well as getting our minds and bodies active in the community.”
An estimated 5 million veterans live in the UK. While most of the 15,000+ personnel who leave the forces each year have a successful transition to civilian life, a small but significant minority do not. WWTW supports those who served, and their families, to thrive.