Compassionate fundraisers put their best feet forward to help our community support rough sleepers by raising £1,605 for our Rucksack Stomp.

Volunteer, Nicole Murray, who has been helping out at our Bedford Rucksack Stomp, stepped things up a gear by organising a sponsored walk on Sunday to support the ongoing appeal, raising £1,105 which was boosted by £500 of match-funding.

The walkers were granted exclusive access through private ground on Southill Estate for an afternoon stroll around Southill Lake, a distance of around 5km, followed by a hot dog and mulled wine at Southill Park Cricket Club.

Nicole said: “The aim was to raise £500 to support the ‘Rucksack Stomp’ which takes place every week where volunteers seek out those in need in our community and offer food, hot drinks and support.

“I’ve been on the Rucksack Stomps a few times and really like what they do. I spoke to Christian who told me all about the Rucksack Stomps and I started going along and helping out a little bit on a Tuesday. I just thought I’d do what I could.

“The wholesale company Bookers also kindly gave me a £50 food credit to spend on items for the Stomp.”

With a £10 per person donation from friends who too part, there was also a charity raffle including prizes of a case of wine and a gift set of premium skincare and make up goodies, with an estimated value of around £350-£400. Raffle tickets were £5 each.

Rucksack Stomp organiser, companion Christian Coley, who joined the fundraisers on the day, said: “A huge thank you to the wonderful people who raised such a great amount for the Rucksack Stomp. I applaud you all!”

Christian did a presentation to the two groups which prompted lots of additional donations throughout the day. Feedback was excellent from those who attended as they appreciated being able to chat to Christian, who himself was homeless for two years before joining Emmaus Village Carlton. Listen to his story on YouTube.

Nicole has also enlisted the support of Bedford School in De Parys Avenue whose pupils have kindly donated warm items such as sleeping bags and gloves to Christian and the Rucksack Stomp team.

*If any other organisations are considering supporting Emmaus Village Carlton and would like to book a talk from Christian who can explain about his own experience with homelessness and how the charity turned his life around, email: [email protected] or call us on 01234 720826.

If you would like to help our appeal with donations of items listed below, please drop them off from Wednesday – Saturday, 10am – 4.30pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm at the Emmaus Village Carlton reception in the Dom Gregory building, School Lane, Carlton MK43 7LQ. Ring 01234 720826 for more details.

  • Sleeping bags
  • Thermal gloves
  • Men’s socks
  • Thermal survival blankets
  • New underwear
  • 2-person tents
  • Winter hats/scarves
  • Flasks
  • Wet wipes/toiletries
  • Non-perishable foods such as Pot Noodles/cereal bars/chocolate/cup-a-soup
  • Coffee shop vouchers

Anyone wishing to support the work of the Emmaus Village Carlton Rucksack Stomp financially, please donate to our Appeal, To support our appeal through Amazon Wishlist donations, click here. THANK YOU!