SSAFA beneficiary has set off on epic trek to give back to SSAFA
Christian Lewis was left homeless with his daughter after leaving the Forces, and is now walking 14,000km to give back to SSAFA who helped rehouse him during his time of need.
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Christian, who served with the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment, has set off on the epic journey to walk the entire UK coastline to raise money for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. The 37-year-old father from Killay, who set off on his quest this week from Llangennith, on Gower, will head north into Scotland and then back down the east coast and across the south coast. Mr Lewis has embarked on his challenge with zero funds, and will be relying on the goodwill of the public and businesses along the way. He is aiming to raise £100,000.
The single parent felt inspired to carry out the challenge on behalf of SSAFA, after we supported him when he left the Armed Forces. He suffered challenging times when returning to civilian life, and felt he did not have the life skills many of take for granted, like dealing with bills, letters and debt. Eventually, Mr Lewis and his teenage daughter found themselves homeless. You can read how we helped him here.
He said: “I was just pretty lost, I didn’t know where to turn. The Army doesn’t teach you those little life skills for example, dealing with bills, letters, debt; it’s hard to do. When we became homeless I made contact with SSAFA and they helped me through it.
“If it hadn’t of been for SSAFA I would have been in big trouble. I don’t know where we would be, whether or not social services would have taken her away, not because of my parenting, but the situation we were in. It wasn’t a good one.”
This quest has given Chris the opportunity to do what he loves and challenge himself to an outdoor, physically intense task, and give back to those who have helped him along the way.
He said: “I am in my element when outdoors, from surfing and coasteering to intense physical training, which has hopefully prepared me for the task ahead - a walk of approximately 14,000km.
“I am starting with no money and will be solely relying on the goodwill of the British public and companies donating what food, water, accommodation and equipment they can to help me on each leg of the journey. I’m overwhelmed by the support and generous donations so far, please follow my journey and come and say hello if you spot me along the way!”
We wish him the best of luck!