De Beauvoir "kid" Kieran, 29, walks John O'Groats to Land's End for homeless charity Shelter from the Storm
PUBLISHED: 17:40 15 December 2016 | UPDATED: 17:40 15 December 2016
A De Beauvoir man braved the cold and walked the full length of the UK to raise money for a homeless charity.
Kieran King set off on October 17 from John O’Groats in Scotland and got home to De Beauvoir Square last night. He walked more than 1,000 miles, camping along the way.
He has so far collected £5,000 for Shelter from the Storm, a small charity in Islington that provides food and a bed for people on the streets. Kieran told the Gazette: “Homelessness is something visible that I’ve always felt quite strongly about.”
The charity was founded by a family friend in 2007. “It’s not government-funded,” Kieran added. “It relies solely on private donations.”
Shelter from the Storm helps homeless people find doctors, counsellors, legal advice and employment. Its shelter off Caledonian Road has 43 beds and is always at full capacity, Kieran said.
Chief exec and co-founder of the shelter Sheila Scott said Kieran, 29, is “a pretty amazing kid – he’s done so well”.
He’s been out of the country for the best part of eight years doing humanitarian work in Africa and the Middle East. He decided to do the walk because he wanted to “fall back in love with the UK”.
Along the way he has battled “bleak blizzards in the Peak District and snow falling into my tent and making everything soaking wet” as well as being kicked out of parks in the middle of the night by angry park rangers.
Asked about the walk’s highlights, he said: “The kindness from strangers, being offered drinks, beds, donations and, frustratingly, lifts – which I can’t take.”
But Kieran’s escapades across the countryside have also attracted a different type of attention. “Three times I’ve had the police called on me,” he said. “I’ve grown a beard and keep walking around with big sticks so they think I look dodgy – then when they come to pick me up and I have to explain what I’m actually doing.”