Homeless Ex 2 Para Walks 8,000 Miles for SSAFA

In August 2017 Chris Lewis, a veteran from 2 Para became homeless and decided to give back to a charity that had helped him throughout his time inn the military.

The 38 year old left Swansea with only £10 to his name last August and hopes to raise £100,000 as he walks the entire coast line of the British Isles.

Lewis has endured the toughest on conditions on his trek, wading through snow and ice in the winter and more recently scorching heat this summer.

He also injured his ankle in a remote area of the Scottish coast which left him facing the possibility of starvation. With quick thinking after years of field craft  he made his own crutch which would help him to safety.

His journey also had its highlights however, in the Northwest of England he found a message in a bottle that had been cast out to see 20 years ago, he took the time to return the letter to Northern Ireland where it was cast from.

In all he has spent 12 months living out of a tent and foraging for food, relying on the kindness of strangers to help him on his way.

In that 12 months he has managed to raise £18,000 for SSAFA and hopes to reach his target of £100,000 by the time he finishes his trek which Chris has estimated will take a year and a half.

He is currently walking along the coast of the Isle of Jura in Argyll and Bute, In Scotland.

“I’ve always wanted to do something big like this. I’ve seen people make these big gestures and raise money for charity, so I’ve always been interested in doing something similar,” he said.

After serving in 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment for several year Lewis left in 2004 to bring up his daughter.

“I joined up as young as you can,” he said. “Then, when I got custody of my daughter and became a single dad, I left to raise her.

“I’ve always been outdoorsy so this has really suited me down to the ground, but each day brings a different obstacle.

“It’s all a state of mind really; each day is a new day. If it’s cold, wet, hard terrain and in the middle of nowhere, I know I have to keep going so I just do.

“Problem solving is at its most important when in the wild.

“A bad choice or a bad decision can be catastrophic, so I focus daily on getting from A to B safely and make sure Jet and I are fed and warm enough to sleep.”

Jet, Chris’ rescue dog has accompanied him for the whole trip.

Written by Trinity Insurance

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