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Homeless Peter walks tall for charity

PUBLISHED: 17:23 08 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:10 14 October 2010

A HOMELESS man who has spent the last six years sleeping rough on the streets of Islington has completed a marathon 70-mile trek in aid of a Finsbury youth charity.

A HOMELESS man who has spent the last six years sleeping rough on the streets of Islington has completed a marathon 70-mile trek in aid of a Finsbury youth charity.

Peter Pickles, 60, set off on an epic three-day walk from Kings Corner Project, in Old Street, to Dymchurch, his birthplace on the Kentish coast.

Mr Pickles, a former amusement arcade worker, has been on the streets since 2004 when he lost his wife and job and was evicted from his home.

He first forged links with the charity when he was the subject of a documentary on homelessness made by Kings Corner youngsters, and even stopped drinking to be in peak condition for the charity walk.

Mr Pickles said: "I am very proud to be doing this walk for such a good cause as Kings Corner Project. My walk is aiming to raise as much money as possible for the charity and promote the wonderful work it does in the borough.

"The workers and volunteers at Kings Corner have really looked after me. They treat me as a normal person - and this is my thank you to them. My walk shows homeless people and rough sleepers do actually care about others and want to play a full part in contributing positively to our local community."

A well-known face around the St Luke's area, Mr Pickles is known for "mentoring" young homeless people to help them survive life on the streets.

Having spent three nights sleeping rough during the charity walk, he arrived in Dymchurch in time for the village's annual Syn Festival. In keeping with Syn Festival tradition he completed the walk in full 18th century costume, raising over £570.

Sarah Bates, chairwoman of Kings Corner Project, said: "We are delighted that Peter has offered to undertake such an incredible feat as this to help publicise the work we do in the local area.

"Kings Corner Project works tirelessly in Islington aiming to deliver the best quality services and support for local young people. The money that Peter has raised will mean we can continue improving the opportunities we offer to residents."

l DONATIONS for Mr Pickles' charity walk can be made at www.kcpyouth.net/donations.


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