WALKTALK, the idea of Joe Kerr a part time bus driver with Arriva London and his wife Gill Hicks, survivor of the London bombings who lost both legs that day, will reach its climax in Trafalgar Square this Sunday after more than 200 miles of walking and thousands of conversations.

It will be almost a month after the start of WALKTALK in Leeds, Millennium Square on 19 July (see photo of Gill and Joe at the start. Photo courtesy of Michele Heseltine), and after more than twenty towns and cities have welcomed the team of key walkers, including Gill and Joe, and volunteers from the London Ambulance Service.

WALKTALK is strictly non-political and non-partisan. It is not a traditional sponsored walk which aims to raise money with each step taken, instead it offers an opportunity to walk in another's shoes, to have a real conversation with someone who has a different point of view and to draw attention to projects which are already bringing communities together.

The team have received warm receptions from people of all different ages, faiths, beliefs, occupations and backgrounds - including local councils, charities and the police service, among many others.

Thousands of conversations have started in local communities and millions of steps been taken to encourage people of all ages and from all walks of life - who might otherwise never have the opportunity to meet - to come together and walk and, most importantly, talk about their beliefs and to focus on all that we have in common.

Joe says

"At the end of every day we arrive in the town where we will spend the night, sometimes greeted by an enthusiastic band of local supporters, or else received more formally by the mayor and senior police officers, or very occasionally we slip in at night and leave the next morning entirely unnoticed.

The great delight of WALKTALK is that we never quite know what, or who, or how many to expect at each different location. My abiding impression is of a string of utterly distinct and unique communities, who nonetheless all share a passionate commitment to building a more harmonious and peaceful future for us all."

Join in the last stages of WALKTALK

Friday 15 August Hampstead Garden Suburb, Golders Green to Marylebone: 9.30 Registration at Hendon Hall Hotel, Ashley Lane, Hendon, London NW4 1HF 10am departure. 11am Registration at North Western Reform Synagogue, Alyth Gardens, London NW11 7EN. 11.30am Departure. Walk ends Marylebone area.

Saturday 16 August Marylebone to Brick Lane: 9.30am Registration at Friends Meeting House, Home of British Quakers 173 Euston Road NW1 2BJ. (Use garden entrance). Day ends close to Truman Brewery, Brick Lane.

The finale will take place in Trafalgar Square, London from 1-2 pm on Sunday 17 August with speeches from the team and people they have met along the way. The final day's walking will begin in the City of London in the piazza between St Mary Axe and Leadenhall Street, EC3 (opposite the Lloyd's building and the Gherkin).


Published : Thu 14th Aug. 2008
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