James Fairweather is the Chief Executive of Big Issue Invest. A team of employees from Invest, the social investment arm of The Big Issue, took part in The Big London Night Walk, however James was not able to join them as he was in Scotland on Friday 6th March. Showing great support for the cause, James went the extra mile, or should that be the extra 13.5 miles and organised a walk with his friends in Scotland and raised over £950 to support the work of The Big Issue Foundation. This is James’ story:
Living in Scotland I was unable to attend The Big London Night Walk on 6th March. When I discussed the work of the Foundation with friends they suggested that we should arrange a Scottish walk, and as they were all members of a walking group they offered to dedicate one of their Friday walks to The Big Issue Foundation.
The Foundation kindly arranged for hats and windcheaters and I arranged a 13.5 mile walk through some of Scotland’s most beautiful lowland scenery, following the John Muir Way from Dunbar to North Berwick in East Lothian. This is far from the experience of those on the London walk, covering their distance on the streets between 10pm and 5am! It felt a bit fraudulent to associate this walk with the nightly attempt to find safe and comfortable accommodation felt by rough sleepers across the UK, but we knew that by walking we were raising funds to help people who find themselves in just that situation.
We started the walk on the coast as the solar eclipse reached its zenith, what an auspicious way to start! The eleven of us with two dogs then followed a path stretching along a beautiful coastal estuary, through woods and across farm land. A lunch stop by a 16 century working mill by East Linton in bright sunshine was followed by a hill walk towards North Berwick Law and then back down to the coast and where we had left cars to take us back towards Edinburgh.
The weather and the scenery helped establish the walk in the minds of the participants, and it was seen as a great success! The inaugural Big Scottish Light Walk helped to spread understanding of the Big Issue model and achievements, and raised over £950 to support Big Issue vendors in Scotland. Watch this space as perhaps next year we will organise a walk through Edinburgh! If you’d like to register your interest please email firstname.lastname@example.org