When Grainne McLaughlin took her first steps in her 500 Mile challenge she didn’t realise how much support she would receive. Her initiative proved to be both significant for both herself and the charity.

 “I had been thinking about helping One in Four for some time. I had planned to take part in The Camino De Santiago, when it was cancelled decided to create a new challenge"

Grainne is a mental health nurse working in Addictions. 

“Sexual abuse  can often be an underlying cause of someone’s mental health issues.  Deep trauma caused by childhood sexual abuse often leads survivors to self-medicate and develop drug and alcohol addictions"

“The Pandemic has led to One in Four having to cancel most of its Fundraising plans.  I knew if I could  contribute just a little to maintaining this vital service it would be worthwhile. Now is not the time to reduce any type of mental health service. People are going to need even more support as we come out of Lockdown.”

“I didn’t know if people would support me, but I went ahead and  set up a Facebook Fundraiser and started walking! By the time I had finished my first walk I had already reached my original target of €275. People were so generous and so positive about what I was doing.  I loved the fact the money  went straight to One in Four and was pleasantly surprised that Facebook didn’t take very much commission."

Grainne decided to walk 7 miles everyday for 72 days  to reach her 500 mile goal. 

“I tracked my walks each day on an app and shared them, with an update about my experiences.”

What Grainne didn’t expect to happen was that many of the people who were donating and following her each day wanted to walk with her. Grainne created a schedule and organised routes and times that would suit each person. With company almost every day, socially distanced walks during Lockdown became an amazing way for her to meet up with friends. Nights out with the girls changed  to early Saturday morning walks and she even reconnected with old friends who she hadn’t seen in ages. All in the company of her beautiful dog Bear,  who walked with her all of the 72 days. 

Grainne challenge has now raised over €2,000, nearly 10 times her original target. 

We asked Grainne how she was feeling now that she has completed her amazing challenge. 

She said: 

“Yeah, well now that its finished The Proclaimers song keeps ringing on my ear ♬♬ … and I could walk 500 more …. ♬♬.

If you would like to support Grainne challenge set up a Facebook Fundraiser for your self here’s the links.

Grainne's fundraiser

Set up a facebook fundraiser here.