A football fan will spend three days sleeping rough on an epic trans-Pennine hike in a bid to open eyes to the plight of the town’s most vulnerable people.
Jim Chisem will trek the 30 miles from Manchester city centre home to Huddersfield in a weekend stint next month and plans to sleep on the streets and rely on the generosity of strangers for food.
The 28-year-old from Meltham, who is the secretary of Huddersfield Town Supporter’s Association, says he wants to open eyes to the suffering of refugees giving up their homes in the challenge and hopes to raise money for local charity Destitute Asylum Seekers Huddersfield (DASH) which helps settle refugees and asylum seekers.
Jim, a project manager who works in Dewsbury, said: “Last year I made a bucket list of things I wanted to achieve in 2018, but realised all the things were about me and improving my well-being. So I made a resolution to raise money for charities based here in Huddersfield.
“I put a poll out on Twitter with a bunch of ridiculous ways of raising money and one of them was sleeping rough for a few nights. Thanks to everyone that voted for the most uncomfortable way of raising money as possible I’ll now be hiking along the canal from Manchester to Marsden and then on to Huddersfield.
“It’s only just struck me that for nearly three days I won’t be able to wash or buy food. I’ll only have the clothes I’m wearing. It’s not the cold so much I’m worried about - it’s the damp if it rains.”
Jim currently organises the Fans For Foodbanks initiative where football fans can provide donations for the Welcome Centre at Huddersfield Town matches.
The lifelong Town fan will start the walk from Manchester city centre at 6am on Saturday, March 3 and hike to Marsden along the canal before staying at a refugee shelter.
He will then spend the following night sleeping on the streets in Huddersfield town centre with nothing but a sleeping bag.
“The hike is around the whole idea of feeling displaced on a long journey while relying on other people’s kindness”, he added. “Similar on a small-scale to the plight of refugees.
“My own grandmother was a refugee herself and fled Prussia in the last days of World War Two before coming to the UK.”
DASH supports people escaping war and persecution who have been settled by the Government in Huddersfield.
The charity give advice, help with casework and rehousing and provide food, clothing and toiletries.
To sponsor Jim’s challenge, visit his page HERE