The pandemic has affected us all in different ways.
With the days getting longer and after months of winter darkness in lockdown, now is the perfect time to step outside and into the spring sunshine for everyone.
This week, we launched our Hit the Streets step challenge.
We’re encouraging everyone to get out and complete 7,500 steps every day in April; a figure which coincides with the number of people we supported out of homelessness last year.
While we set this up as a fundraising challenge for people experiencing homelessness, we hope to kick-start some positive wellbeing habits for everyone.
We know that regular exercise can have a profoundly positive effect, not just on physical health, but also on our mental wellbeing; it can relieve stress and anxiety, improve our sleep, and boost our overall mood.
Even a short burst of 10 minutes brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy levels and self-esteem.
Exercise can bring us together and help us to reconnect with our loved ones.
Use this opportunity to encourage a friend or a member of your household to hit the streets with you (ensuring that you adhere to COVID19 restrictions in your area).
Getting outside also offers a space for mindfulness; a chance to escape from the pressures of daily life and reflect on what we have in our lives and what we have faced over the past year.
For many of us, rolling lockdowns has meant isolation and separation from those we love.
During your walks of reflection, think about how for someone experiencing homelessness, these feelings are not new – they have been an inescapable part of their lives before the crisis and could continue after the pandemic.
While many of our streets look to be empty, homelessness has not gone away.
We know that tackling homelessness is not just about providing someone with accommodation; it is also about supporting someone’s mental and physical wellbeing too. And the longer a person experiences homelessness the more likely their health and wellbeing are at risk.
At The Wallich, our teams help people take the steps necessary to move away from homelessness, for good.
Whether it’s providing emergency accommodation, supporting people with family mediation, mental health and substance misuse or upskilling for future employment, getting people off the streets and into safety is just one part of someone’s journey out of homelessness.
Your daily effort to hit the streets can make a difference.
For example, a £20 donation can provide life changing support, by helping someone stay safe and maintain employment:
Angharad was moved into emergency accommodation following a family breakdown. £20 a week covered the cost of transport to help her get home safely and keep her job – avoiding further crisis.
Need more inspiration to hit the streets? Read Ali and Stefan’s story.
Whether you stroll around the park on a sunny afternoon, or a go for quick jog around your local area with a member of your household, every step you take will make a real and lasting difference for people at-risk or experiencing homelessness across Wales.