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PW minus 5

It's 5 days until I set off from Edale in Derbyshire on my journey north along the Pennine Way to Kirk Yetholm in Scotland. Today's little 5.5 miler was my last bit of walking training - although I will keep carrying a backpack filled with water bottles around the house and up and down the stairs for a few days longer, much to the amusement of my family. I didn't get a video of me practicing putting my tent up because it started tanking it down as soon as I got home. I won't have the luxury of that choice next week!

Here’s one I prepared earlier. 😉

In many ways I just want to get started now. I am excited to get going, but if I am being completely honest I am also still pretty daunted by the whole thing. Can I walk that far everyday for 2 weeks? What will be weather be like? Am I prepared? I've anticipated all sorts of scenarios, but what about the things I'm not prepared for? Everything feels ready, but there are 5 more days to wait. Anxiety and excitement will probably fluctuate during each of those days.

For the young people In2Out supports as they leave the prison gates I think there are a lot of similar feelings. The obvious difference is of course that I am leaving my home and family to go on this journey - they are leaving a place that for the most part they will be happy to leave behind. But that's not the case for everyone. Sometimes prison has been the most stable, caring environment they have ever experienced (which alone tells its own story) and many others are not going 'home'. Over 60% have been in social services care and while many will go back to towns and cities they know, and unfortunately where their descent into a life of offending started, still others will be sent to places they've never been before. Often release holds far more unknowns than knowns about what this next stage of life will be like. And for those who've decided that they want life to look different and never to return to prison, the challenges are only just beginning.

Thanks to all of you that have subscribed to follow my journey and for all those who have already given so generously to our fundraising goal. Together we can make a real difference in the lives of our young people.

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