The Good Shepherd are today launching their ‘Miles into Meals’ campaign – encouraging people to get moving and get active whilst raising vital funds for the Wolverhampton-based charity.
Supporters are being asked to take on their own fundraising challenges, however big or small, and however they want to cover a distance whether as a one-off activity or over a period of time.
This could be walking, running, cycling, swimming – even skipping – all great both for mental and physical health and also hopefully attracting sponsors to support the Good Shepherd.
All funds raised will, as the campaign name indicates, be invested directly into the Good Shepherd’s free to access food and crisis support service which, during 2022, provided over 20,000 meals and nearly 9,000 food parcels, as well as over 3,000 visits to the Family Food Pantry.
The charity delivers a range of different services, helping over 1,000 people last year not just with food, but also advice and guidance around housing, benefits, mental health and addiction, as well as supporting people to develop their skills and abilities and providing volunteering and training opportunities. For people who are street homeless, the Good Shepherd provides showers, clean clothes, a laundry service and support to gain accommodation.
The foundation underpinning all this support is the food service, often the magnet for attracting people to the Good Shepherd from where staff are able to then help service users make positive and sustained changes to their lives.
Whilst Miles into Meals is a campaign which will run for the remainder of 2023, staff are hoping that June will be a particularly key month to encourage people to get active, which includes Good Shepherd CEO Tom Hayden and Housing First worker Paul Burns embarking on another marathon walk, following their ’50 Miles for 50 Years’ expedition which culminated in climbing Snowdon last year.
“Paul and myself have decided to hit the roads and the hills once again for ‘Miles into Meals’, this time focusing on the Lake District,” Tom reveals.
“We are taking on the ‘Lakeland 3000s’ challenge, climbing the four peaks in the Lake District which are higher than 3000 feet – Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn and Skiddaw.
“We will complete the challenge inside two days, which, given that we’re still recovering from last year could be ambitious!
“All of us at the Good Shepherd, and especially the people that we help, remain so appreciative of the support we receive from the local community without which we would be unable to deliver the services that we do.
“People in Wolverhampton were struggling before the cost-of-living crisis which has pushed new people into poverty and homelessness, while pushing people already struggling further into destitution. We’re seeing the impact on families and individuals daily at our services and this challenge will help us raise vital funds to support our work in the city.
“With ‘Miles into Meals’, there is the opportunity for people to set their own challenge, however big or small, and be part of one big team effort to support people who are homeless and disadvantaged across Wolverhampton.
“It really is a campaign which is open to everyone to come up with their own creative ideas, and those who aren’t able to take part in challenges can hopefully support those that are by making a donation.”
Miles into Meals really is a blank sheet of paper with the only framework trying to cover some sort of distance and knowing that every penny raised will be used in the Good Shepherd’s food service.
So, are you a school, college or University who could hold an activity involving students? A business who could use the ‘Miles into Meals’ challenge to develop a spirit of competition and improve teamwork? A faith group who could meet up for a social activity whilst raising vital funds? An individual who wants to push the boundaries with a personal ambition?
The Good Shepherd will also be leading a series of one-mile walks around West Park each Thursday lunchtime during June, with a different theme relating to the charity’s work each week. Members of the community will be welcome to join and meet staff, volunteers and service users to find out more. More details on this will be released next week.
We would love people to be as creative as they can with fundraising and share everything that is being done for ‘Miles Into Meals’. Please drop us a line at [email protected] with any questions or for us to share details of your challenge.
Click our main fundraising page here to either ‘Donate’ or ‘Start Fundraising’, which will allow you to link your challenge to our overall campaign.
Many thanks, as ever, for any support that you can give.
- Huge thanks to Simon Pagett and Synaxis Design Consultancy for designing the Miles into Meals logo.