A pensioner is hoping to raise £100,000 for The Salvation Army with an 18-month charity walk across the UK, and will stroll through Greater Manchester this week.
Andy Peddle, 70, who started his 7,900-mile journey on May 16 in the Shetland Islands, arrived in Bury yesterday and will pass through Oldham, Openshaw, Stockport, Sale, Salford, and Bolton.
As he walks to more than 800 Salvation Army churches, Lifehouses, charity shops and every league football club in the country, he hopes to raise awareness as well as much-needed funds.
“The Salvation Army has a long history of offering practical support to people who are vulnerable or in need,” Mr Peddle said.
“We are there for 3,500 homeless men, women and families every night.”
At each Salvation Army base, Mr Peddle, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, will talk about the issues of human trafficking and homelessness to promote The Salvation Army’s work.
He is followed every step of the way of his walkathon by a support van so he can have a break and a sleep whenever needed.
The trek has not come without its difficulties however, as thieves broke into the support vehicle in Sunderland and stole cameras containing pictures from the first five months of the trip.
“These events either knock you down or make you stronger,” said Mr Peddle.
“It has made me more determined than ever to finish what I’ve started – to raise £100,000 to help The Salvation Army make a difference in the lives of others.”
Mr Peddle’s wife has also been uprooted for the pilgrimage as she has relocated centrally to Leeds while they rent out their home.
As he nears the halfway point of his quest, Mr Peddle is keen to see others support him by doing this own mini sponsored walks and posting the photos online.
“I want people over the age of 65 to realise that life does go on and that you can volunteer and become involved,” he said.
“I would love to see as many people as possible support us in this project.”
Major Mel Jones, leader of The Salvation Army in the Central North Division, said: “The Salvation Army hopes that, as a culture, we will start viewing people who are ‘homeless’ as people who have a contribution to play in our society.
“It is fantastic that Andy is taking on this personal pilgrimage to help those truly in need.”