“A few years ago, my friend lost their daughter at a very young age (seven) and they couldn't express their gratitude enough to Demelza and the support they showed. I researched a lot of charities and with that and another friend of mine who runs Leo Bay Campsite in Queenborough, Demelza was my chosen charity to support.”
Not too disheartened by having to abandon Camp the Coast early, Paul set his sights on his future fundraising: “I was planning to do a Camp the Coastal Castles this year but with the uncertainty of the pandemic I thought it wasn't a good idea as I had to respect local communities, so I thought about starting campouts.
“I started a Facebook camping group called Road Roamers (@RoadRoamers). I thought there are so many people that have struggled with their mental health, anxieties, losing a loved one through lockdown and are worried about camping and meeting new people. I thought that they needed to get out and experience old school camping; in a field, music around the fire pit and generally meeting like-minded people.
“I never knew how much this group would have grown, from 215 members in April 2021 and now, to date, just over 2,500. Organising them can be a trial in itself but in the end, it's all worth it. It's changed people's lives; people are not alone now as they have made new friends and we as a group are here to support each other.”
The campouts range from two nights to 10, and the next is due to take place over the Christmas and New Year period in Leicestershire. Over a usual 10 day campout, Paul will see on average 30 – 40 units (tents, caravans, campervans and motorhomes). For his upcoming festive campout, Paul is set to bring together over 110 units, telling us: “I'm so glad about the response, as how upsetting to find someone alone this Christmas. No one should be alone after last year.”
“About one in three of the events are held as charity fundraisers and we have a massive one in Bodiam planned for next July, which everyone is welcome to come along to.”
If you are interested in finding out more about Paul’s upcoming campouts, you can contact him via email – and if you would like to make a donation towards his fundraising, you can do so via his JustGiving page.
Get in touch
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For more inspiration and fundraising ideas, visit our fundraise for us page.