One of our hosts, Paul Clifford will be starting an 85-mile walk along the length of Hadrian’s wall this Sunday. He has kindly decided to split any sponsorship he makes between us and another charity he supports- Auditory Verbal UK.
In this blog he describes the walk, and what motivates him and his wife to host.
If you would like to support him, you can donate here: https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/paulonhadrianswall
Hadrian’s Wall has been a feature of the English landscape for almost 2,000 years. Much of it is still visible. It runs for 85 miles across England at more or less its narrowest point between the Solway Firth and Newcastle. You can walk its length in 6 days which is what I shall be doing, staying at a variety of b&bs along the way, carrying everything I need on my back. It is perhaps ironic that I shall be following a wall built to keep people out in order to raise money to help keep people in.
My wife and I have been involved with Sanctuary Hosting for the last three years. In that time we have given a short-term home to a number of asylum-seekers and refugees from different parts of the Middle East and Africa. We have been impressed by their courage, tenacity, ingenuity, resilience and genuine desire to make a contribution to British society. They have escaped persecution and civil war and some of the stories they have shared with us of what they had to go through to reach Britain are both jaw-dropping and depressing in what they reveal of the cynicism and incompetence of officialdom across Europe.
They have cooked for us, entertained us with Ethiopian hip-hop and Syrian street music, engaged animatedly in religious and cultural debate, helped on our churchyard-clearing working parties, watched our DVDs (goodness knows what our Somali guest made of Chariots of Fire, but he was polite about it) and even made an effort to seem interested in cricket.
What we have offered them seems infinitesimal given the scale of the challenges they continue to face, but it is one rung in a ladder of support which Sanctuary Hosting and similar organisations provide and which may one day help them to get over the wall that confronts them to find a secure and peaceful future.