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Virtual hiking challenge launched to raise funds for Pieta House

The annual Darkness into Light has been postponed, but that hasn’t stopped a community of thousands of scouts across Ireland from raising much needed funds for Pieta House.

Scouting Ireland volunteers have launched Hike for Hope, a virtual challenge taking place this weekend, to help raise €10,000 for Pieta House.

Hike for Hope is open to everyone and has recently been endorsed by Galway’s Corofin player Ciaran McGrath, Mayo GAA star Colm Boyle and Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL star Cora Staunton, Aisling McGrath of Tipperary Ladies LGFA and Western Bulldogs AFL and, Evan Hadnett the drummer with Walking on Cars.

Having worked out the number of steps it would take to climb to the summit of some of the highest mountains in Ireland and the world, members of the public are being challenged to pick a mountain and walk the equivalent steps over this weekend, within their 5km radius.

The distance in steps of some of Ireland’s most popular trails have also been calculated so everyone can do their bit for Pieta while getting important exercise and having fun!

Those taking part in the challenge can complete their steps on their stairs, in their back garden or within their locale.

To ‘climb’ to the Summit of Mount Everest, at 8,848 metres high, would be the equivalent of 44,240 steps or walking 3,160 steps of stairs.

To ‘summit’ Ireland’s highest peak, Carrauntoohil, would take 5,190 Hike for Hope steps or 371 steps of stairs.

A more leisurely virtual stroll of the 5.5km Ticknock trail will be 7,216 steps while the 90km Ballyhoura Way at 90km would be 118,080 steps.

Emily Breathnach is one of a group of teenage scouts who had their expedition to climb the Alps cancelled and they have decided to take on Mount Everest this weekend as a part of Hike for Hope.

Under the guidance of James Usher, the Mountain Havoc group are climbing as a team and are looking forward to the challenge and to helping Pieta House.

The organisers of Hike for Hope have said that they have always been inspired by the work of Pieta and have been grateful for the supports and services made available in our communities.

Michelle Comber, Provincial Commissioner Western Province, Scouting Ireland said that anyone can hike for hope in support of Pieta House.

“Local communities have long supported the annual Darkness into Light event to raise funds for Pieta House. The mission of Pieta House is to ‘support people and communities in crisis by providing freely accessible, professional services to all’.

“The need for public support for Pieta is greater than ever in the current uncertainty of COVID-19 which many people find stressful and suffer from increased anxiety.

“It’s an essential service right now more than ever, and yet, the COVID-19 restrictions in place will mean that the opportunity to raise vital funds through the Darkness into Light walk will not happen. Anyone can Hike for Hope in aid of Pieta House. Please Hike for Hope by donating, hiking and sharing!” said Michelle, who is leading the challenge with a group of volunteers and scouts.

How to participate?

Hike for Hope is open to everyone; all ages, all abilities can take part and anyone who does not want to hike for hope can support it by donating in the name of someone doing it.  Simply donate and choose your hike of choice.

Recommended donations to participate in the Hike for Hope challenge are:

Student/ OAP rate             €10.00

Individual rate                   €15.00

Family rate                         €30.00

Donations can also be made by those wishing to support Pieta House who are not able to take up the challenge on the gofund.me page.

Michael Malone
Email me at editor@galwaydaily.com

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