We spoke to Jane to hear her thoughts on St Basils:
“Back in 2003 a friend at work asked me if I’d like to walk 27 miles in a day for charity. I’d never walked that far before and for some reason decided to sign up! At that time, I was new to Birmingham and unaware of St Basils and the amazing work they do – but I worked in the city centre and could see daily the problems of homelessness.
On the day of the walk, we were in the Black Mountains and the organisers and volunteers dotted around the course were so lovely. We got lost, but they helped us find our way back on track and made sure we got down off the mountain. Despite us being the last team home, it was a truly memorable day.”
“To persuade family and friends to sponsor me I had to find out a bit about St Basils. I really liked their focus on prevention and addressing the needs of young people. Luckily, I got to visit one of the housing projects and have attended events where young people talked about the life-saving help they have received. “
“Why is St Basils my favourite charity? It’s the passion and commitment of their staff to ensure each person passing through their doors gets the help they need to be their best self.”
“Generous friends and family sponsor us every year and I’ve also been lucky to get match funding from local companies I worked for. The best thing is that every year there is a dedicated group of friends, colleagues and family who walk with me to support St Basils. For each walk we have at least two teams and sometimes more. Some walkers do the shorter routes and they come from far and wide across the UK. Over the years I must have walked with teams of over 100 different people; all of us raising funds to help fight homelessness in Birmingham.
I’m hooked! I’ve walked every year except during lockdown. That must be 18 years now. There’s nothing better than getting lots of fresh air, exercise and maybe a few blisters. It’s so sociable catching up with your teammates and talking to all the other walkers. After all these years there are many fellow walkers who I’ve come to recognise – it’s like one big St Basils family. And you can justify the chocolate bars on the way round and the slap-up meal at the end – guilt free…”
“I can’t wait to get out to the Shropshire Hills on the 25th of June this year. I’m recruiting family and friends and hope to have at least a couple of teams.
When will I hang up my muddy boots? Well, as long as St Basils organise these walks in amazing locations, I can still persuade people to sponsor me, and provided my legs don’t let me down: I’ll be there.”
We want to thank Jane for her persistence, passion and determination towards our young people. The cost of a young person going through our employability program is £125. The skills learned on this program get young people ready for work so that they can make their own money and not have to rely on us or anyone again. Through her work and supporters, Jane has paid for over 100 young people to escape homelessness and secure employment and independence for a better future. Every individual we help is as important as the next, and the impact this has on young people’s confidence, futures, and the wider community is immeasurable. On behalf of the young people of St Basils- thank you, Jane!
To find out more about our Hike for Homeless, click here.