A Surrey Quays woman has raised nearly £1,000 for a homelessness charity after walking a gruelling 52km from Teddington Lock to the Thames Barrier.
Tessa Gooding, 33, undertook the sponsored walk on Saturday in aid of the 999 Club – a Deptford-based charity which provides respite and advice services to the homeless.
Ms Gooding, who was accompanied for a large part of her twelve-hour walk by her rescue dog Thali, has raised £999 for the charity, well over her £750 target.
She said: “The money raised is now at £999 – I thought that was quite appropriate given that it’s for the 999 Club!
“Last week I couldn’t really sleep because I was worrying about it. For the last four miles I even had to walk backwards just to use different muscles.
“But I had different friends join me for the walk which really helped. The dog was with me for the first 21 miles so that really helped.”
She added that she did have breaks during the tiring escapade – including a well-earned bacon sandwich stop.
The money raised by Tessa, who is a co-founder of the Surrey Quays social enterprise, Urban Patchwork, will go towards the charity to fund its activities including a drop-in centre on Deptford Broadway and a night shelter.
Tim Fallon, CEO of the 999 Club, said: “We’re really grateful to both Tessa and her brother Toby at Urban Patchwork for their tireless commitment to raising crucial funds to help homeless people in South London.
“Donations are a significant part of our income and are invaluable in allowing us to run a day centre all year round and to providing housing advice, benefits support, skills workshops and guidance in finding work, which all help to empower vulnerable people to have a new start.”
Now Tessa has plans to make the walk a yearly fundraiser – although the length might not be as long as the challenging 32 miles.
If you want to donate to Tessa’s fundraiser, you can find further details at virginmoneygiving.com here.