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Street Pastor to take on seven challenges to celebrate turning 70 

A Street Pastor is hoping to raise £7,000 for Catching Lives by taking on seven challenges to mark her 70th birthday. 

Denise Smith, from Broomfield, Herne Bay, will kick off her milestone year with a sponsored indoor wall climb at Revolution Climbing Centre in Broadstairs on Friday 19 April. 

Denise, a retired writer and editor, said: “As a Street Pastor, I often see homeless people; see them huddle in shop doorways with their sleeping bag and sheet of cardboard. I listen to their stories of lost jobs, bereavement, broken families, mental health issues, substance abuse. 

“This year I have a milestone birthday. I had thought to spend the year doing things I’ve never done before. Then I heard that Catching Lives was unable to run this year’s winter shelter. This really upset me. So, either I could sit and bemoan the loss or do something about it – I chose the latter. 

“I decided to change the focus my milestone year; instead, dedicating it to raising funds towards the next Catching Lives Winter Shelter. I’ve called my campaign ‘7 for 70’. I hope to organise 7 events throughout the year to raise £7k towards the shelter.” 

Denise will turn 70 in July. Her other planned events include a sponsored ‘Sing-a-thon’ or ‘Hymn-a-thon’ at St Martin’s Church in Herne in late May, a series of raffles through Herne Bay Photographic Club and a sponsored walk along the Pilgrims Way in July. 

In the Autumn, she hopes to plan a sponsored paddle along the River Stour and, as a keen photographer, she is producing a 2025 calendar. She is open to ideas for her seventh challenge. 

Tasmin Maitland, Chief Executive of Catching Lives, said: “We’re really grateful to Denise for coming up with these exciting and ambitious challenges to mark her milestone birthday. Our Winter Shelter takes a lot of forward planning so it’s great to know our supporters are already behind us for the 2024/5 season.” 

To sponsor Denise visit her JustGiving page

Catching Lives will be posting updates of Denise’s ‘7 for 70’ challenge throughout the year, via our newsletter and via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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