Linda Ballard's 12,000 mile coastal odyssey for the homeless

December 2010 News James Durkin -

A DORSET woman is preparing to embark on a two-year odyssey around the coast of Britain to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless.

Linda Ballard, 52, decided to take on the walking challenge after she suddenly found herself on the streets.

"I had a successful business, a marriage and a home," said Linda, from Swanage. "But it all went up in smoke.

"My life changed literally in the blink of an eye."

But Linda, who ran her own soft furnishings business, is determined to use her own experience as fuel for a positive cause.

Leaving Swanage in March next year, the former special constable and Guide leader aims to walk around 25 miles a day around the British coast.

Linda estimates the 12,000-mile trek will take almost two years to complete and she hopes people will come to join her along sections of the walk.

"If I am going to be homeless, I'm going to be homeless for a reason," she said.

"I want to get as much support as possible in each area, and I hope people will pitch up and get on board."

Linda said she would always have at least one companion throughout her mission - her faithful Jack Russell, Bob.

She will not be able to claim any benefits en route as she is moving between local authorities.

But she said the sale of her houseboat, which is currently being finalised, would fund any expenses during the trip.

Not content with the organisation of the walk, Linda is also attempting to found her own homeless charity.

She is appealing for anyone who can help her with organisation or administration for the walk to contact her.

 Call 07779 926711 for more information.


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