James is Subject Chair for Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology as well as College Officer for Social Sciences and International Studies.

Politics and Sociology student raises nearly £700 for Homeless Charity in Exeter

James Winterbotham, a Politics and Sociology student currently studying in his second year, recently completed a 28-mile trek across Dartmoor on his own in order to raise money for the homeless.

The Exeter-based charity, St Petrock’s, is dedicated to helping homeless people in Exeter and the surrounding area and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Opened in December 1994 as a humanitarian response to the growing problem of homelessness in southern Devon, St Petrock’s has flourished and now offers a wide range of advice and support, as well as emergency provisions such as food and clothing. This year alone, they have already helped over a thousand people and regularly help as many as 60 clients per day. It costs half a million pounds every year to operate, but over 90% of this is spent directly on urgently needed client services. Homeless people are increasingly gathering in Exeter due to a lack of services elsewhere, so with homelessness on the rise and winter having set in, St Petrock’s need backing now more than ever.

This worthy cause in need of support inspired James to complete the long journey alone across Dartmoor in December. He left Exeter at 5am with only a small torch to guide him through the darkness of the countryside. By 8am he had reached Dunsford ready to catch the 9am bus to Princetown to complete the 20 miles he had originally planned.  After missing the bus, he decided to walk the whole way instead, which was closer to 30 miles. At midday he reached Moretonhampstead and continued despite fierce winds and snow, even meeting some other brave hikers along the way! James continued his journey through Dartmoor National Park and towards Princetown with aching muscles and blisters, singing to keep his spirits up! He finally arrived at 7.30pm in darkness, more than ready to get a lift back home!

Having already raised nearly £700 for St Petrock’s, James thanked his family and friends for their support saying, “By itself, this hike would have achieved nothing. It is only through you, my generous sponsors, that this event becomes something practical and useful - a tool to help those without a home, who have to be as uncomfortable as I was for every day of their lives.”

James is Subject Chair for Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology as well as College Officer for Social Sciences and International Studies. His 28 mile trek across Dartmoor over the course of 14.5 hours is an amazing achievement for a hugely important cause and issue which affects many people living in Exeter and beyond.

If you would like to sponsor James then his fundraising page is open until January 20 and can be accessed here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JamesWinterbotham1

If you would like to find out more about the St Petrock’s charity, you can access the website here: http://stpetrocks.org.uk/.

Date: 18 December 2014