Young, in love and walking 159 miles for homeless people

23 May 2016
by Victoria Harrison

When engaged young couples head towards Gretna Green it’s usually for a more ceremonious occasion. However Abi Reece and Derby-based musician Daniel Vardy are walking the distance to raise funds to support local homeless people. 

On July 11th the couple will add an engraved lock to Bakewell Bridge and then be waved off by supporters. They will then embark on a difficult journey towards the highlands that they plan to complete in just one week.

Abi Reece (24) said: “Homelessness is a visible issue in Derby and one that, from our own observations, we believe it’s getting worse locally. We both feel really strongly about the issue and have talked for a long time about doing something about it. Walking is something that we both enjoy and so we’ve rolled both elements into one challenge – although I have my doubts about how enjoyable walking such a long distance will be, we’ve never attempted such a feat before.”

Her fiancé Daniel Vardy (30) added: “Hopefully this long and difficult walking and camping journey will be the closest that we ever come to losing our home. We’ve set a target of £1,000 and are raising awareness and money for Framework, an East Midlands-based homelessness charity who help people who are threatened by, experiencing and who have previously been, homeless. When we came up with the fundraising idea we got in touch and the team there have been great, introducing us to walking guides and inviting us in to learn more about how they help vulnerable people.”

Framework Fundraiser Tori Harrison commented: “It’s so inspiring to see young people motivated by a harrowing issue that many people ignore every day. Latest governmental figures display a country-wide rise in rough sleeping of 31%. Unlike Derby, in Nottingham where we have a professional outreach team counting and offering help to rough sleepers each night we have recorded a 56% rise in people sleeping out. Many of our projects helping homeless and vulnerable people rely absolutely on public donations and the support of individuals like Daniel and Abi. We support them completely and are grateful to them and anyone who can sponsor their efforts. The money raised will support vulnerable people in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.”

You can support Daniel and Abi by donating. Fans of Dan Vardy as a musician will be happy to hear that there’s also a send-off gig in Sheffield on July, 8th. Plus there's a new single out which when bought will raise funds for their fundraising target too.

If you want to walk, raise funds, and make a difference to homeless lives then you can join Framework’s 25 mile Peak District TREK challenge in September. Find out more or register or email for other ideas or enquiries.

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