Martin Kitara

From the streets to the mountain tops

June 16, 2017 :: 1.53pm
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Our client and volunteer, Mandy, has shown incredible strength in conquering homelessness. Next it’s Mount Snowdon. Mandy shares with Communications Officer Martin, her inspirational challenge and her determination to help others who are homeless.

On 21 June, I am taking on the biggest challenge of my life. My friend Claire, also a client at St Mungo’s, and I are leading a team of clients and staff up Snowdon. This is to celebrate how we conquered homelessness and to give others the same chance.

We’re dedicating our walk to those who have sadly died while sleeping rough. We know that could easily have been us.

‘This challenge means so much to us: it’s our chance to give something back’

My mother died when I was 18 months old, and my father worked away. I spent my early years in care. At 16, I moved back home with my father. One day, I returned home from work to find that he’d died from a heart attack. I blamed myself for not being there to help him. I became mentally unwell and eventually became homeless.

Just two years ago, I was sleeping rough. Today I have a place to call home and have had the amazing chance to rebuild my life. I can now see that recovery is possible. I’ve seen myself grow so much. I never thought I’d be doing something like this. I want to give others who are sleeping rough the same chance.

‘The worst joke I’ve ever told!’

It all started when I was invited to a Directors’ meeting at St Mungo’s. I made a joke about climbing a mountain to help with fundraising. The next thing I know Claire and I are looking up climbing Snowdon on the internet. It snowballed from there. It’s become huge!

We’ve planned every aspect of this walk ourselves – from bringing the team together to our Friday training walks to our route to reach the summit.

It’s taken a lot of planning, but to see something grow from a daft idea, and watch fellow clients grow and develop is amazing.

‘Let’s help others conquer homelessness’

Recently Claire and I worked on a leaflet with St Mungo’s supporter communications team. We wanted to tell the amazing people who support St Mungo’s more about what we’re up to, and ask if they could kindly support us once again.

St Mungo’s is my rock – they’ve given me so much support at my lowest and highest moments. I know that many of the services, such as psychotherapy, I used to help in my recovery are funded by supporters. Without this I wouldn’t be here today.

We want to help others overcome homelessness through using these services.

‘We’re overwhelmed by support’

Our leaflet and story has been shared with St Mungo’s supporters.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who have supported us so far. Each day we’re astonished to see donations and lovely messages of encouragement from people who we don’t even know. We cannot thank people enough for getting behind our walk.

At the heart of our challenge is our determination and ambition to help others who are sleeping rough. But, without your support, this walk is just that; a walk.

‘Being at the summit, knowing we’ve done it’

We’ve never done anything like this before. We cannot wait! At the summit we will stand tall and proud, knowing how lucky we are to be there.

Can you please help us achieve our ambition?

 It would mean the world to the Snowdon challenge team if you could please give what you can to help us achieve our target. Your donation will transform lives and help many others conquer homelessness. Thank you for supporting us every step of the way.

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