Walk the walk – don’t just talk the talk

A blog by Ruth Brown

During the month of December, many of the ARK Team are taking part in the annual ARK Amble, a virtual challenge to walk 1,050 miles and raise money for charity. That is the distance around Wales following the stunning coastal and Offa’s Dyke footpaths.

You might think we are crackers for doing this …it’s a very long way, there’s not much daylight and the weather is awful. December is already a hectic month what with Christmas and all the celebrations we have planned but that is exactly the reason why it is also the best month to do it.

Let me explain:

This year, all proceeds will (appropriately given the route we are following) be going to Shelter Cymru. Like us, they believe that home is everything and that we should all have the right to have a safe and secure home. Sadly this is not the case for many people in Wales.

More than 1,500 Welsh children will not have a home this Christmas and Shelter Cymru estimate that 1 in 3 people in Wales are affected by the housing emergency. This means that over 1 million adults and children are living in unsafe or unaffordable housing right now.

We have all seen the damage Storm Arwen did recently. And I’ll be honest, not many of our team feel like walking miles in the cold, wet or dark but it has made us all reflect on how lucky we are to have homes we can go back to once we have done our trek for the day. Sadly, many people do not have this basic necessity. They have nowhere to shelter, nowhere to warm up and must endure being out in all weather conditions.

Doing this challenge around Christmas time is also a reminder to me not to get too caught up in the commercialisation that is all around us. Expectations are high and it can be a stressful time of year but taking a moment to realise what you have, and more importantly what others do not have, is always important.

Shelter Cymru directly support people to move from homelessness to housing and are also campaigning for more social housing, improved protections for renters and working with communities on the ground. They offer free, confidential and impartial advice and last year supported over 16,500 people living across all local authority areas in Wales and in all types housing tenures.

  • 62% of households helped were facing or currently experiencing homelessness
  • 5,457 households helped had dependent children
  • 16% of people helped were aged between 16-24
  • over half of the people they helped had a mental health condition, a disability or mobility issue

At ARK, we work with many housing associations and local authorities and we have a great deal of expertise in the social housing sector. We support organisations to perform and operate at their best which in turn leads to better housing for those who need it. So as you can see, we felt that there was a natural link to supporting Shelter Cymru.

As I write we are a week into the ARK Amble. So far, we have reached the stunning Anglesey – and yes, we have many miles to go but we know it will all be worth it!

If you wish to sponsor the ARK team, please visit our Just Giving page –  www.justgiving.com/fundraising/arkconsultancywalk

We are regularly updating our social media pages so you can follow our progress there.


Ruth Brown

Head of Business Services

Ruth has 12 years’ experience in the charity sector, managing teams to deliver ambitious income targets and ensuring that supporters receive a gold standard of service. She is an experienced leader in income generation, business development, marketing and people management.