A PENSIONER taking on a gruelling 18-month sponsored walk across the UK in order to raise vital funds for The Salvation Army is set to pass through Hartlepool later this week.
Andy Peddle, 70, will visit parts of East Durham and Hartlepool as part of his ongoing efforts to raise £100,000 towards The Salvation Army’s work with homeless people and victims of human trafficking.
Andy will be donning a top hat and tails as he arrives in County Durham on Friday, October 19 and will spend nearly a week walking through Consett, Langley Moor, Chester-le-Street, Murton and Easington Colliery, including paying a visit to Hartlepool United Football Club.
He is due to leave the county on October 27 as he continues to Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire.
Having started his epic journey on May 16 in the Shetland Islands, Andy is walking to 130 Salvation Army Churches, lifehouses, charity shops and every league football club throughout the UK.
When he arrives at each Salvation Army base, he will give a talk about the issues of human trafficking and homelessness.
Andy said: “The Salvation Army has a long history of offering practical support to people who are vulnerable or in need.
“We are there for 3,500 homeless men, women and families every night.
“This is a personal pilgrimage too – we are renting out our home and my wife has relocated to the central location of Leeds while I am raising the money.
“I have a support van following me on my trek so I can have a break and sleep wherever needed.”
Andy, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, is keen to see people support him by doing their own mini sponsored walks of one mile or more – and for them to put pictures of the places they visit on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
He added: “I want people over the age of 65 to realise that life does go on and that you can volunteer and get involved.
“I would love to see as many people as possible support me.”
Major Darrell Thomas, leader of The Salvation Army in the Northern Division, said: “It is fantastic that Andy is taking on this personal pilgrimage to help those truly in need.”
Andy has already completed an 8,000-mile trek to raise money for Africa families living in poverty.
To follow his progress visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk/uki/walk