Dacorum’s homelessness charity DENS did the double on their annual sponsored walk at the weekend – reaching twice the amount raised last year with more than double the amount of participants.
The 10 mile trek from Berkhamsted School – which followed the Grand Union canal to Aldbury, before a climb to the Ashridge Monument and descent back towards the starting point – saw 64 people taking part compared to last year’s 28.
This year, more than £4,000 was raised with cash still to come – all of which will help support the vital services the charity provides for homeless people in the borough, including the night shelter, day centre and foodbank.
Among the walkers were DENS chief executive Andrew Liversidge, who said: “We are always fighting to try and make ends meet, with the government cuts that are coming on.
“Homeless people are being hit two ways round – they are hit by benefit cuts but we are also losing money as an agency. We have lost about 28 per cent of our funding from the government in the last year, so it is great people are supporting us with this walk today.”
Participant Tracy Ford knows first-hand the positive impact DENS has in the community. After her relationship broke down in 2012, she found herself with nowhere to live and stayed with the charity for six weeks. She has since been found a flat and has welcomed DENS’ help in furnishing it.
Tracy, who was taking part in the walk as a thank you to the charity, said: “The help and support DENS has given me has been fantastic. It is an amazing organisation and everyone should know that they are there to help. I want to thank them so much.”
Dacorum Borough Council leader Andrew Williams also took part with his children, along with Gazette reporters Victoria Bull and David O’Neill and videographer Natalee Hazelwood.