Phoebe Smith will don her Wander Woman guise to raise cash for Centrepoint

Phoebe Smith will don her Wander Woman guise to raise cash for Centrepoint

Outdoors writer Phoebe Smith will miss Christmas with her family and friends to tackle a 100-mile charity walk, dressed as a superhero.

Ms Smith – in her guise as Wander Woman – will begin her non-stop trek on the shortest day at the Sunderland headquarters of homelessness charity Centrepoint.

She will then head to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to join the route of Hadrian’s Wall, heading west to its extremity at Bowness-on-Sands in Cumbria.

The writer hopes to reach the end of her challenge late on Christmas Day.

She said: “Somewhat predictably I’m not content with simply eating brussels sprouts and watching bad TV like most ‘normal’ people and instead I’ve decided to forgo Christmas once again to try to raise £5,000 for young homeless people at Christmas.

“I’m going to walk alone, 100 miles non-stop, across the width of Britain, dressed as Wander Woman.”

Ms Smith, who is president of the Long Distance Walkers Association, will begin her Hadrian’s Hundred non-stop walk on Wearside.

“I’ll start on 21 December with a visit to the Centrepoint HQ in Sunderland where they will be busy preparing for a very hectic and demanding time of year. Then on 22 December I’ll begin my walk right from there, up to Newcastle, then roughly follow the length of Hadrian’s Wall all the way to Bowness-on-Sands in Cumbria where I hope to arrive late on Christmas Day evening – and also hope a pub will be open so I can get a hot drink or something stronger.”

Ms Smith has previously undertaken two Extreme Sleep Outs for charity, raising more than £28,000 for Centrepoint.

“I choose to sleep in wild locations for fun, but this will be my toughest challenge yet. That’s because, in addition to walking nearly a marathon a day while carrying a heavy backpack, I won’t actually be able to camp, as it’s illegal and frowned upon on the Wall. So instead I will have to head west slowly and steadily, throughout the night, in cold and dark conditions, in costume, with only short stops to rest.

“It means I will be missing Christmas with my family and friends, but I think it’s worth it to highlight the plight of many thousands of young, homeless people who also have to keep moving through the night, unable to sleep anywhere legally and safely. They don’t get to choose to do it, unlike me.”

The writer said she chose to walk solo for 100 miles because more than 100,000 young people approached their local council for help with homelessness, so every mile she walks will represent over 1,000 young people who need and deserve help.

Centrepoint supports more than 10,000 homeless young people a year directly in London, Manchester, Yorkshire and Sunderland, and through partner charities across the UK.

She added: “So I ask you, rather than buying a Christmas drink, rather than a card or novelty gift, or even your usual morning coffee, please consider donating to my JustGiving page. Together we can help end homelessness, so that everyone can spend Christmas somewhere warm and safe.

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