A man, who ten years ago lost the ability to walk, has set off from Southport on a 250 mile fundraising walk in aid of five Emmaus communities including Emmaus Merseyside.
On Sunday 7 October, Derek Cash departed on a charity walk along the Trans-Pennine Trail, from Southport in the west to Hornsea beyond Hull in the east. Derek, a board member of North West based Your Housing Group, is raising funds for five Emmaus communities that support formerly homeless people by providing them with a home and work in a community setting.
A decade ago, Derek went from being a reasonably fit and able 53-year-old, doing a job he loved, to someone who simply could not function to achieve many of the basic everyday things that we take for granted. Following extensive tests, scans and consultations, Derek was diagnosed with acute peripheral neuropathy and had to teach himself to walk again.
Derek said: “At the lowest points I thought I would never walk or work again and long-held retirement dreams of cruising our wonderful inland waterways system instantly evaporated. Six months on – and with the terrific support of my wife and employers – I was back functioning relatively normally and could once again look over the horizon with optimism.
“It taught me that well-worn lesson of making the most of better health to do the things we want to and enjoy while we can, as we never know when it might come to a crashing halt! A decade on I decided to embark on a personal challenge in a bid to help other people have that second chance of opportunity they may have thought lost.”
Derek was waved off at the start of his walk by members of the Emmaus Merseyside community. The charity, based in Sefton, supports formerly homeless people by providing a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it.
Angela Quinn, Business Manager at Emmaus Merseyside, said: “It was great meet Derek and learn more about his personal challenges and how he has overcome them. We are extremely grateful for Derek’s support and our send-off in Southport will hopefully give him lots of motivation for the rest of his trip.”
Emmaus Merseyside is one of five charities benefiting from Derek’s walk, along with Emmaus Gloucestershire, Emmaus Hull, Emmaus Leeds and Emmaus Oxford.
To find out more or support Emmaus Merseyside, head to www.emmaus.org.uk/merseyside. If you would like to get involved or donate an item call 0151 928 1588 or visit the visit the Emmaus charity reuse shops or superstore at 38 Sandy Road, Seaforth, Sefton L21 3TW.