Award winning author Frankie Owens has achieved the kind of infamy AND fame normally reserved for reality TV stars and wayward ‘C’ list celebrities. Frankie however is no tango tanned 20 something, he’s an ex con with an eye on a positive future and over the coming months will be walking the length of the UK in support of The Forgiveness Project.
Frankie’s challenge is to walk from John O’ Groats to Land’s End, visiting towns and cities along the way. Each destination will include visits to prisons, probation trusts, youth offender groups, universities, and charities that work to help promote understanding, rehabilitation and re-integration of ex-offenders. Frankie began his 60 day walk on 1st September and finishes 1160 miles later on November 1st at Land’s End and every penny raised will The Forgiveness Project to:
• Collect and share real stories of forgiveness and reconciliation to help individuals transform the pain and conflict in their own lives.
• Run a restorative justice program in prisons helping build community resilience by working with victims to rehabilitate offenders.
• Create resources for schools to educate young people about peaceful solutions to conflict.
• Provide tools for resolving hurt and conflict by holding events and running training programmes.
After being a prisoner and losing everything Frankie is now an award-winning writer with 30 articles published to date, and counting. Frankie has been welcomed by The Huffington Post, Sabotage Times, The Guardian, Works for Freedom, The Justice Gap and The Royal Society of Arts. Numerous universities have also invited him to speak to them, with local newspapers and radio stations running articles and interviews too.
Frankie is the author of the ‘Little Book of Prison, A Beginners Guide’ and is inviting donations at www.justgiving.com/frankie-owens.
On Saturday October 6th 2012 Mandy will begin her trek up three of the highest peaks in Yorkshire. The challenge is to complete the circuit in 12 hours. Phew. Mandy is looking to raise money for The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, a chairty which is dear to her family’s hearts and inspired by her Auntie Carol.
“At the grand age of 48, Carol was certainly a fighter, which I’d say is how she is remembered. She loved being around all her family, especially her sisters (my lovely aunties) and everyone loved being around her in return. She was always happy and always smiling, no matter what. I can’t put into words how much she is thought of and missed everyday by everyone in my family.”
Strong Island wishes you all the best on your journey, your support to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and to the memory of Carol. You can help Mandy help raise money over at www.justgiving.com/Amanda-Cobb
Thanks to Jon Spencer for bringing this to our attention. Take action now, “The proposed city council budget for 2011/12 onwards proposes that the subsidy currently offered to the Hayling Ferry be cancelled. This will more than likely spell the end for the ferry service which provides a great route into and out of the city for cyclists and pedestrians. The budget will go to the vote at council on tuesday 8th February. If you would like the service to be saved then please phone, email or write to your ward councillors to ask them to oppose the motion to scrap the subsidy. Find your ward councillors HERE. Some reasons why the ferry needs to remain:
The Hayling ferry provides vital access to a rural area to the residents of Portsmouth. This is one of the very few rural areas that is accessible to the people of Portsmouth without requiring access to a car. Our MP, Mike Hancock, spoke very eloquently on the breakfast news on this week about how vital public access to rural areas is to the wellbeing of a community and how he was therefore, in opposition to his government’s plans to sell off woodland. He was absolutely right to make this stand but it will be prove pointless if means of accessing such rural areas are removed.
Despite the assertions made in appendix C of the budget report, the Hayling ferry is widely used by citizens of Portsmouth. It is used daily by workers at Hayling, Havant and Langstone (and further afield) who commute by bike. It is heavily used by people who wish to visit the beaches or to use the popular Billy Trail by foot or by bike. The Hayling Ferry link is part of the UK national cycle network route 2 and as such is used by cyclists from across the UK to get into Portsmouth.
The major transport challenge Portsmouth faces is surely the fact that most of the city is on an island and there are very few access routes. Removing one of these routes is surely, at best, extremely unwise? This will increase pressure on the already extremely congested Eastern Road and will remove, at a stroke, the most pleasant way onto and off of Portsea Island.
The Hayling Ferry is good value. It’s annual subsidy of £15,000 is only about 1.3% of what the pyramids is costing the city this year. In terms of the value of the leisure and travel opportunities it presents it is punching well above its weight.”
Hayling Billy trail is a really popular cycling, running and even horse riding trail that runs along the Langstone Harbour edge of Hayling Island. On the 26th February a new section of the trail will be opened to the public by David Willets MP, portfolio holder Jenny Wride along with Simon Pratt from Sustrans. The opening starts at Havant Road Langstone at the junction with Mill Lane at 10.30 am and then there will be tea and coffee at the Sailing Club after the opening with a small display showing future joint cycle improvement and safe routes to school projects that Sustrans, HCC and HBC are intending to carry out within the Borough over the next 18 months.
Hayling Billy also runs past the old Oyster Beds at the northerly point of the island, are a great place to visit to spot birds this time of year.
On Saturday morning we passed through the West Hayling Local Nature Reserve (in Langstone Harbour) whilst on a bike ride along the Hayling Billy coastal path. In recent years the area has been heavily re-landscaped from the old rubbish tip back in to oysterbeds (as it was from Roman times right up to the first world war). This redevelopment was undertaken to provide a safe and secure habitat for wildlife. The reserve is a haven for sea birds at all times of the year and is also home to Little Terns, one of Britain’s rarest breeding birds.
The nature reserve can be easily accessed and enjoyed by bike using the Billy coastal path (like we did) but there is also car parking available if necessary and the whole area is great for walks with great views over the harbour, well worth a visit as it is only minutes from Portsmouth. Click here for more information and a full history of the reserve.
Farlington Marshes are located at the top of Langstone Harbour and are a wildlife reserve helping to protect the habitat of birds, insects and plants. On SUNDAY (21st) at 10am there will be an official tour of the marshes consisting of a 2.5 mile guided walk, a great way to learn about the wildlife of both the marshes and the harbour (seals!) and the management of the reserve. There is no need to book, just turn up on the day at the car park off the Eastern Road roundabout with the M27. Binoculars will be available to borrow for the walk. The walk is free but a donation of £1.50 towards the upkeep of the reserve is suggested.
For more information contact Jamie Marsh on 01489 774429 or check here.
EDIT: Oops, I got the date right but the day wrong, it is the 21st, which is the Sunday.
We burst the bubble again last weekend for a pretty epic ramble, or should I say hike. Taking the advice of the Guardian Newspaper we embarked on a 6 hour walk across the North Wessex Downs. Although the walk is a good 45 minute drive away it’s well worth the journey and the reward at the end is one of the finest pubs I’ve ever eaten at, the Roayl Oak. Check out my Flickr for the full set.