Why Joe is climbing Snowdon for homelessness charity Roundabout
When Joe Hellewell embarks on a walk to the top of one of the UK’s highest mountains this summer, he’ll be doing it all as a very special thank you to South Yorkshire youth homelessness charity Roundabout.
Joe had spent nine years in the Sheffield foster care system when he was introduced to Roundabout, the charity that works with more than 250 young people every day, providing shelter, support and life skills to help them gain independence.
“My mother had been seriously ill with a stroke and we had no other family so I went to live with a lovely foster family when I was about 12,” he says.
“I didn’t really think what would happen in the future but when I reached 18 it became time to move on and I think it was my social worker who suggested I should talk to Roundabout.”
Roundabout’s Resettlement Team currently has 67 properties around the city, consisting of flats and houses, all available for young people like Joe, helping them to prepare for independent living in a semi-supported housing setting.
Today Joe has his own flat and a job and also knows that he has the support of his Roundabout case worker Kim, who has helped him through the transition period from foster care to independence.
“Roundabout really have supported me, helping me with things like bills and all that stuff which I didn’t think I was good at,” Joes says.
“When I first moved into my own place I didn’t really have anybody to talk to - they’ve given me mental support too, encouraging me all the way.
“Kim is fantastic - we’ve done things like cooking together and we go on walks too.
“Things that I thought I couldn’t do by myself, I have had Kim there to support me and that’s been really important to me.”
Kim will be joining Joe and the Roundabout team for the walk to the top of Snowdon - the highest peak in Wales - in the early hours of June 26, arriving in time to experience a beautiful summer sunrise.
“I’ve never walked up a mountain before but I’m really looking forwards to it,” says Joe, who received a 20 per cent discount from outdoor specialist Go Outdoors to help kit him out for the challenge.
“I think if you’re going to do a fundraising challenge you’d may as well make it a real challenge, something you’ve really got to work at.
“I’m doing this for Roundabout because they have supported me and given me a home where I can stay as long as I need to, until the time that I’m ready to find my own place - and some people don’t get that opportunity.
“Life is full of obstacles but it’s not a question of if you can manage them but how you will manage them.
“That’s my motto and it’s helped me as I got a job and it’s helped me when I’m struggling with things.
“All I have to do is find the reason to get through the obstacle and I will get through it - and it helps knowing Roundabout are there for me too.”
There’s still time to join Joe and the Roundabout team on their June 26 Snowdon challenge.
The Sunrise on Snowdon Hike costs £40 to enter, with the expectation that every walker will raise at least £200 in sponsorship for Roundabout as they take on the nine miles that will bring them to the summit.
Included in the cost is return transport from Sheffield to Snowdondia, with an experienced guide to provide support throughout the challenge.
To find out more about the Sunrise on Snowdon Hike email [email protected] or call 0114 253 6753.