The founder of an educational charity that creates school allotments is planning a fundraising barefoot walk along the full length of the Peddars Way.
The Papillon Project, which grew out of Reepham High School’s Allotment Project is now a registered charity and continues to support Reepham’s school allotment on a regular basis.
The project’s founder, Matt Willer, now aims to raise £10,000 for the charity by walking barefoot from Thetford to Holme-next-the-Sea, a distance of 46 miles (74 km), from Saturday 31 July to Sunday 1 August.
Founded in 2019, the Papillon Project helps to establish school allotments to benefit young people and the planet, working in more than 20 secondary schools and colleges throughout Norfolk.
Mr Willer, who was a teacher at Reepham High School before leaving to work full-time at the Papillon Project, said: “School is about so much more than passing exams. We work closely with young people to bring them closer to nature and experience the benefits of the great outdoors: growing food, developing manual skills and crafts, and learning about environmental awareness and sustainable living.
“Our school allotments are flourishing, but each one requires time and resources. Our volunteers are unpaid, so all money raised will go directly into our projects – from the necessary materials and equipment they require, to supporting teachers and teaching assistants with the supervision and maintenance of their allotment sites.”
Mr Willer said that by walking barefoot, he wanted to represent how humans should now tread carefully when it comes to our relationship to nature, and the need to reduce our carbon footprint as soon as possible.
“I am also totally flat-footed and was born with a talipes (twisted) right foot, which corrected when I was young. Although both conditions certainly don’t cause me any impediment, my right foot especially does almost always ache after a long walk.”
To sponsor Matt Willer on his barefoot walk, click HERE