Solidarity: the act of helping those less fortunate than ourselves is a key part of the Emmaus ethos.
This year Emmaus Lambeth decided to spread that message by taking part in an eight day walk.
It started at our residential Community in West Norwood, and continued throughout parts of Surrey and into Kent, via the North Downs Way, before finishing in Calais last Sunday 24th September.
This was a sponsored event, with proceeds going to Spires Day Centre in Streatham and Emmaus Bangladesh (Thanapara Swallows).
Danny Daly and Dan Nisbett – members of staff from Emmaus Lambeth, completed all eight days of the walk and were joined on different legs by other members of staff, companions, friends and trustees and today both Danny and Dan share their experiences:
“When the Solidarity Walk was first proposed by Dan, I knew I wanted to be involved, but was not certain that I would be able to do all of it.
In the preceding months, we did walk the individual sections over a number of weekends, and that gave me the confidence to sign up for all of it.
For the week itself, we were very fortunate with the weather – I would not have enjoyed finishing the walks drenched to the skin! I did find that the last couple of hours each day for some sections, took me out of my comfort zone.
I am built for comfort not speed, and again I had the good fortune to only suffer a few blisters over the course of the week.
For me, I really enjoyed the various conversations with our fellow participants over the week.
It was an opportunity for me to talk to companions, staff and trustees, away from our busy office environment. The final weekend was the highlight for me. We stayed at Emmaus Dover on the Friday night, and then had eleven walkers out for the final Folkestone to Dover leg on the Saturday.
There was a real sense of camaraderie and togetherness on the journey.
In relation to Calais, we were wearing our Abbe Pierre T-shirts, and you could see some French locals in Calais intrigued as to why we would be wearing them.
It is always dangerous to say what historical figures would do in a current situation, but I am 100% confident that Abbe Pierre would be at the forefront of supporting refugees and migrants (“sans papiers”) in Calais and the rest of France.
We received a good update from the Calais Catholic Worker (who work with Secours Catholique and Care 4 Calais), as to the current situation post-“Jungle”. The Solidarity Walk was a wonderful experience, and I certainly plan to keep the personal walking going in future!” Danny Daly
“We did our solidarity walk from Bobby Vincent House to Calais from 16th September through to 23rd.
This was a great initiative, what I really liked about it was that it took in people from across the full spectrum of the community – volunteers, companions, board members, senior management and staff – We journeyed together.
It was great to see that what started as an idea had become a reality. We were able to meet up and collaborate with people from Emmaus further out. Emmaus Dover joined us and put us up for a couple of nights. This was one of the highlights for me.
The welcome and hospitality that we received from the community there was very good. Very happy to have taken part and experienced such a good thing”
Everyone at Emmaus Lambeth would like to say a big well done and thank you to everyone that took part in the walk this year and to all those that donated to our JustGiving campaign page.” Dan Nisbett