SUNDERLAND gave pensioner Andy Peddle a very warm welcome when he arrived in the city during his mammoth charity trek.
The 70-year-old is walking more than 8,000 miles around the UK in a bid to raise £100,000 for the Salvation Army’s work in tackling homelessness and human trafficking.
During his travels Andy is visiting every football ground as well as all the Salvation Army Centres – 949 of them.
On Monday he walked his way into Sunderland and his first port of call was the Salvation Army’s Southwick Community Project in Shakespeare Street.
The following day the pensioner made his way to the Stadium of Light, calling through Millfield and Monkwearmouth, before visiting the Salvation Army Citadel Corps in Hendon, the charity’s homeless hostel, Swan Lodge, in the city centre and then trekking out of Sunderland heading for the Salvation Army Seaham Harbour Corps.
He said: “I had an absolutely fantastic time in Sunderland.
“The people I met were so warm and friendly. It was really great.”
Andy started his epic journey on May 16 in the Shetland Islands and will finish in October next year.
He said: “I am starting to get aches and pains in places I didn’t know I had, but it is going so well and everywhere I visit they are keeping me well fed. People are so responsive when I tell them about what I am doing.”
At a number of the places he visits Andy gives talks about the issues of human trafficking and homelessness.
He said: “The Salvation Army has a long history of offering practical support to people who are vulnerable or in need.”
His progress is being mapped at www.salvationarmy.org.uk/uki/walk. To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/Andy-Peddle.