Cross-border dash to deliver kilt for Edinburgh charity walker's capital homecoming
A former homeless man who took on a 900 mile charity trek after turning his life around during the pandemic will cross the finish in the capital wearing a kilt.
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Peter Henshaw took on the epic challenge of walking from the capital to Westminster and back again to raise vital cash for Shelter so he can give back to those who have helped him.
The 39-year-old said he has been overwhelmed by messages of support and kindness of strangers after setting off on the 46 day trek with just a tent, a sleeping bag and a first aid kit.
After walking around 35 miles a day since August 14, Peter told the Evening News he was feeling exhausted - but determined to keep going as he got closer to the Scottish borders.
He said he’s ‘blown away’ by one supporter who is driving 70 miles to bring him a kilt so he can finish in style.
He said: “It has been such a blast. The highlight for me has been the people. They are the real stars of the story.
“People have fed me, given me places to stay. Today I was in the tearoom of a holiday caravan park and they have invited me to come back.”
“But I keep hitting the trails as I go. I didn’t want to get too comfy. This whole journey is about raising awareness of what it’s like to be homeless and have to ask the public for help to afford a meal and to rely on strangers just for survival. I hit a low point a couple of times when I felt like quitting but thinking about families without a home, on the streets or stuck in temporary accommodation kept me going. That helped me stay focused.”
He added: “When I get to Coldstream I’m ditching the trousers and putting on a kilt. I’m blown away that someone is actually driving 70 miles to bring it to me. I just hope it’s a long one, I will also wear a pair of gold hot pants underneath. I brought them as a bit of a laugh and for jumping in rivers when it was hot.”
Last year Peter was battling through alcohol addiction while living on the streets, where he was spat at and had stuff thrown at him.
Now he’s sober and living in a flat provided by Edinburgh City Council. He believes everyone deserves a home and says he plans to continue raising cash and helping campaign to tackle stigma in the future.
With around 80 miles to go until he’s back in Edinburgh, Peter invited people to join him on Saturday October 2 as he finishes at the Scottish Parliament. He will share details of the route on social media. Documenting his journey as he goes, Peter has topped £3,300 so far for Shelter Scotland and hopes to hit £10,000.
He added: “I hope people will come join me. There will be meeting points at Portobello, Leith and near the Castle where people can walk with me down the Royal Mile to the Parliament. It will help give me that push to finish. It has been so emotional. All the support has really helped keep me going. It has been epic. I will probably sleep for a month.”