If you're thinking about getting involved with charities this Christmas, Walking with the Wounded's latest campaign could be the perfect option. The Walking Home for Christmas challenge is aiming to raise money and awareness this December and anyone can get involved.
The campaign is supporting vulnerable and homeless veterans by providing them with help to reintegrate back into society. The charity will be working with veterans to allow them to regain their independence by helping them get jobs.
According to data from King's College London, there are around 66,090 ex-servicemen and women that need support for a number of issues, including service-related mental and physical health, after leaving the Armed Forces between 1991 and 2014. Many of those who require help do not ask for it, which can make matters worse.
Walking with the Wounded helps to spread the message that it is okay to ask for help and sets up programmes that work with veterans who are homeless, in need of mental health support and who are in the criminal justice system. Through helping them find work and housing, it enables them to be part of society again.
This is why the charity needs your help this Christmas and it doesn't take a lot to get involved.
The Walking Home For Christmas campaign is all about sponsored walks, whether this is a mile or 100. You sign up for £10 plus postage, which will see you receive a hi-vis vest, branded Father Christmas hat and a wristband - £4.93 of this cost pays for the items you receive, with the rest going towards the campaign.
You can sign up to be a walker - as either an individual or part of a team - or a captain. If you are unable to take part, you can also donate to the cause. Captains can then lead a public walk or a large team. Any walk you organise will be added to the Walking with the Wounded event map, allowing people to check in and get involved.
Once you're signed up, you can start collecting sponsorship by asking friends and family and setting up a fundraising page. Ask people to give what they can to support you walking as far as you can. You could even organise a big local event to get more people involved and donating.
The idea comes from the fact that many veterans have had to walk thousands of miles in their military career, taking them to some of the most dangerous terrains and situations. Many of them probably wished on more than one occasion that they could walk home and so the charity is asking you to just that.
It doesn't take a lot to put one foot in front of the other in order to raise money for charity and doing so for a few hours this December could make a huge difference to someone's life. This is one of the biggest and best gifts you can give this Christmas so make sure you get involved however you can.
Find out more about Walking Home for Christmas with Walking with the Wounded here
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