In the coming months, TopicUK partner Jonathan Kattenberg from Walking with my Bear, will be conducting an unsupported 1,040 mile fundraising campaign, originally planned for the arctic but now in the UK, to raise funds for a charity close to his heart, Focus4Hope.
Focus4Hope is a charity that provides support for the elderly, homeless, isolated, and otherwise vulnerable in West Yorkshire, including women escaping from violence. The group, which began as a community-based nonprofit started by friends, was founded in 2016 and is now a respected pillar of the charitable community.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show there were 71,387 domestic abuse-related incidents reported to West Yorkshire Police in 2018/19.
"I honestly can’t imagine how vulnerable the victims must feel," said Jonathan. "That equates to a stunning one every 7.4 minutes.
"The number of reports had risen by 33% in a year, up from 53,854 in 2017/18 - this is the highest number since published records began in 2016. Goodness knows what the figures will be for 2020.
"For me, this has to stop, it’s not acceptable, and I want to help! When I wrote and recorded the poem, music and created the video, it brought tears to my eyes.
"I ask everyone to please help me support Focus4Hope. The work they provide to the community is essential with much needed support.
"Something else close to my heart, is they work to bring resources to those who need them most by hosting outreach events in the West Yorkshire area on a regular basis. During fortnightly events in Leeds, they feed up to 100 homeless individuals and provide parcels full of essential hygiene items and food.
"I nearly became homeless and spent a short time sleeping on a sofa at a friend’s home many years ago. With Literally coppers in my pocket and no food. I was fortunate, others aren’t!
"They also regularly put-on events to foster connection and community between people they work with in vulnerable areas. Focus4Hope’s events are aimed at not only providing much-needed physical resources, but a source of connection to fight loneliness and isolation, which is an issue close to their hearts."
A central player in the creation of the Leeds Homelessness Charter, solidifying a unifyied mission for a group of homelessness organisations in the greater West Yorkshire area. This resulted in a more organised effort to combat homelessness, whilst bolstering cooperation and coordination between many non-profit, faith, public and private sector organisations with similar goals.
"The organisation now desperately needs funds to pay for a support worker who can work with the people they help. The cost of a support worker for one year is £10,400, which I hope to raise," he continued.
"As soon as it is legally allowed to do so by government guidelines (with a provisional date sometime in March), I will walk pulling my pulk on wheels and complete 1,040 miles with the hope to raise much needed funds.
"In 2022 I will repeat the distance in Alaska and the Yukon, but for now, my adventure will remain local held in the Peak District, and I will cover a distance of 1040 miles pulling a sled with all my own supplies and staying outside until the distance is complete.
"By sponsoring just £10 per mile, we can reach our goal and fund this much needed support worker for Focus4Hope. https://walkingwithmybear.com/fundraising/
"If you want to show your support in other ways, please visit https://walkingwithmybear.com/shop/ where a percentage of all proceeds will go to this cause.
- £1 per each beanie purchased
- £5 per cap purchased
- £1 per book purchased
Please consider donating any way you can to help such a valuable cause in West Yorkshire.