July 12, 2024

Housing associations’ national Hiking for Housing challenge raises ‘fantastic’ £12,000 for Welsh charities

Homeless people, refugees and cancer patients across Wales are set to benefit from over £12,000 in funding thanks to dedicated housing association teams who walked over 2,000 miles.

Eight housing associations helped raise a total of £12,380 between July and September by taking part in the Hiking for Housing sponsored walk challenge.

The challenge, coordinated by Community Housing Cymru – the body that represents 34 not-for-profit Welsh housing associations – saw teams walk a combined total of 2,300 miles across Wales, with each association supporting a different charitable cause.

Housing associations which took on the challenge included Valleys to Coast, Melin Homes, Clwyd Alyn, Cartrefi Conwy, Bron Afon, Stori, Newydd and RHA Wales.

To prepare for the challenge they were offered advice and support by team building and leadership training experts Call of the Wild, and received legal support from Top 100 legal firm Hugh James.

On the achievement, Community Housing Cymru chief executive Stuart Ropke, said: “The fantastic amount raised by our housing association members as part of the Hiking for Housing challenge underlines Welsh housing associations’ commitment to supporting communities and those in need.

“The amount raised will undoubtedly make a huge difference to charitable causes, which may be struggling to provide vital support services as a result of the cost of living crisis.

“Many of the housing associations helped to raise money for homelessness charities across Wales, which have seen their funding and resources strained significantly due to the current economic climate.

“We’d like to congratulate all those who took part, and put their best foot forward to make a huge difference to communities across Wales.”

Andrew Bowden, group chief executive of Cartrefi Conwy, who initially suggested the sponsored walking challenge and whose housing association completed their walk first, said he was proud of his team.

He said: “Our colleagues’ enthusiastic participation in our 24-mile sponsored walk along the North Wales coast for Shelter Cymru was inspiring to see.

“Their commitment and enthusiasm saw us exceed our target amount, and also shone a light on the incredible work Shelter Cymru do across the country.”

Housing associations which took part in the Hiking for Housing Challenge, included:

  • Valleys to Coast: the team completed a 20km walk from Ogmore Valley to Bridgend town to help raise funds for specialist palliative care service Y Bwythyn Newydd. The service, which is based in the grounds of the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, supports people with cancer, their relatives and carers, and helps with their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
  • Melin Homes: this team took on a circular route walk from the housing association’s offices in Pontypool to raise money for The Wallich, which supports over 7,000 people experiencing homelessness annually.
  • ClwydAlyn: the team walked 20 miles from Talacre to Colwyn Bay to raise funds for national homelessness charity Shelter Cymru, which defends the right to a safe home in Wales.
  • Cartrefi Conwy trekked 22 miles across Conwy and also helped raise funds for national homelessness charity Shelter Cymru.
  • Bron Afon: this team undertook its 12km sponsored walk to support The Trussell Trust, which supports foodbanks across Torfaen.
  • Stori: this housing association team supported Bawso, which provides support to black minority ethnic communities and individuals in Wales affected by abuse, violence and exploitation, by taking on a five-mile walk around Pembrey Country Park.
  • Newydd: employees individually walked and ran over 2,250 miles to support the work of Cardiff-based charity Oasis, which helps refugees and asylum seekers from across the world. Thanks to their dedication to the challenge, Newydd raised over £500.
  • And RHA Wales completed a 21-mile walk from Tonypandy to Cardiff Bay to raise funds to provide invaluable food hampers to local organisations supporting people facing food poverty and rising costs in winter 2023.

Find out more information on Community Housing Cymru here.