The Big Blind Run: Conquering Brighton to Belfast | Homewise

It’s here! The big charity fundraising event for 2018 is… The Big Blind Run! This November, our entire team will be conquering the distance from Brighton to Belfast, inspired by Time to Talk Befriending and our new friend Bill.

Making a difference

Time to Talk Befriending are a Sussex-based charity supporting vulnerable older people who are experiencing chronic loneliness and social isolation. We volunteer with Time to Talk Befriending every fortnight and met Bill earlier this year through the befriending scheme.

Bill is a visually-impaired veteran who sometimes feels lonely in his care home and is struggling with losing his sight. Every time we visit Bill he is enthusiastic and happy to share his varied history. Not only does a few hours of company make a world of difference to Bill’s quality of life, it also enriches ours and we are so thankful to have met Bill.

We are passionate about raising money to help Time to Talk Befriending continue helping people in the community, like Bill, every day.

“I had the honour of meeting 91-year-old Bill who is almost completely blind and living in long term care locally. He has a sharp mind and many memories to share but experiences loneliness daily without his family and friends nearby. We’re taking on this challenge for Bill, working together as friends and conquering this distance as a team.” Mark Neal, Managing Director - Homewise

Time to Talk Befriending have been helping vulnerable older people in Brighton & Hove for over 4 years now and are desperate to get in to the Worthing area on a permanent basis to do the same. In February this year, an initial pilot scheme ran but cannot continue without funding.

Our aim is to raise at least £10,000 for Time to Talk Befriending, who will use this money to hire a new permanent staff member! With £10,000 they will be able to employ a part time manager for their befriending scheme in Worthing. This would launch the scheme in Worthing permanently and ensure their important work continues to empower the most vulnerable older people in our local community.


Hear from Emily Kenward, founder of Time to Talk Befriending, as she shares how £10,000 could help the older community this winter.





The challenge

Our challenge is broken up into two parts. Firstly, on November 4th half of our staff will be running 10K in pairs, with one being blindfolded throughout, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. We’re joining in with the RSBC Blindfold Run and our entry costs, covered by Homewise, will go to support this charity too.

“We’ll not only be putting our fitness to the test but having to rely on the support and guidance of others will be a challenge. To cover our eyes and trust our partner to guide us through unfamiliar territory will be tough, but we’ve got a great team with bags of energy and are ready to take this on for Bill!” Charlotte, Office Manager - Homewise

Along with this, the rest of our team will be pulling on their hiking boots and heading out on a 10K coastal walk from our office in Worthing, two days earlier on November 2nd.

Everyone at Homewise is getting involved in some way – even those who aren’t able to take part in the larger group challenges will be ‘submitting their steps’ in the run-up so they can help Bill and others like him.

"We value passion and empowerment at Homewise and our dedicated team are going to conquer this feat together for a wonderful cause. I’m so proud of everyone and look forward to seeing us all unite to motivate and encourage each other on the day.” Mark Neal, Managing Director - Homewise

Homewise Team RSBC Blindfold Run


Changing lives

We need your help.

Help us raise the funds to allow Time to Talk Befriending and their volunteers to continue changing lives, especially in the run up to Christmas.

A scheme member, who only receives a visit once a fortnight for up to an hour, told Time to Talk, “I would rather go without food than without my befriender. He is more important to me than food”. Another said, "I was in a dark place. I am so glad I don’t have to be lonely anymore”.

The difference befriending can make is significant, and a simple donation could reach someone who would otherwise be alone without the scheme available.


Learn more about how to help here: Time To Talk Befriending website

Your donations and support could help the older community in the following ways: 

  • £6.00 per person would provide a traditional professionally cooked Christmas meal on Christmas day with a befriender who will visit and help to heat up the meal
  • £10.50 pays for a volunteer DBS check of which at least 100 per year are needed
  • £12.50 pays towards food and transport enabling older people to attend weekly intergenerational group befriending events, in partnership with a local church and local college
  • £42.50 per person is the cost required to assess an older person referred to the service (referred because they are chronically lonely due to limited or no connection with family or friends) and provide: befriending, access to groups/activities/services of interest, attend and benefit from seasonal events
  • £77.50 pays for an induction held every 4-6 weeks for 10+ volunteers to become befrienders and be able to change countless lives
  • £150.00 pays for transport to the Time to Talk Christmas event which brings older people, who are usually housebound and alone, together for the holidays
  • £508.00 enables Time to Talk to fully support a befriending match from the initial referral and initial volunteer enquiry throughout their befriendship, which usually last the duration of an older person’s lifetime


Support us as we take on The Big Blind Run and conquer over 600K for this wonderful cause.


Watch the full interview with Emily Kenward