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Corkman organises charity virtual marathon

Wednesday, 1st April, 2020 5:18pm

There’s a virtual marathon happening this weekend for a charity which supports older people.

Communities in Cork and further afield are preparing to take part in the 48 hour Virtual Marathon to help raise funds for Alone, a national organisation that provides vital support services to older people.

The Virtual Marathon is due to take place from Friday 3-Sunday 5 April and will see 96 volunteers taking part in a thirty minute run or walk, for 48 consecutive hours.

The participants will remain within the two kilometre radius of their home, as outlined by the latest Government restrictions and will complete their run or walk as individuals alone, during a dedicated time slot. Each participant will upload an image to social media from their run or walk, to create further awareness.

The idea came from Cork native Eoin Gilley who has recently returned from living in London to see out the pandemic with his family. Eoin’s initiative has already surpassed the initial fundraising target of €2,000 within three days of going live.

Eoin said: “The vulnerable and older people in our communities need our help now more than ever. Services such as Alone are vital in providing that much needed care and support, as it has now become unsafe for many families to be there for loved ones physically.

“This all began with a simple WhatsApp conversation among friends and has now grown into a massive community effort through sharing the word on social media. It’s amazing to see so many individuals are willing to put in their shift, day or night, in support of Alone. People are now either taking part or donating from all over the world and we hope to raise as much funds as possible.”

As many charities across Ireland have recently cancelled or postponed their main fundraising events, CEO of Alone Seán Moynihan said he was grateful to see the recent outpouring of support stating: “It is phenomenal that so many people have come together to support Alone and the older people in their communities during this difficult time. It is so encouraging to see that individuals and communities are now thinking of new and innovative ways to fundraise such as this Virtual Marathon.

“We have been inundated with calls and requests since the Covid-19 crisis began and have received thousands of calls from older people expressing their concerns via our national helpline,” said Mr Moynihan.

Funds raised will go directly to support Alone’s Covid-19 national response, which includes a seven-day helpline operating from 8am-8pm on 0818-222024. Figures released this week showed that the charity received more than 1,000 calls last Saturday after people over 70 were asked to cocoon.

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