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Running novice on target to raise £10k for dementia care

Zutec's John Leahy with FIS's Charlotte Curran.
Zutec’s John Leahy with FIS’s Charlotte Curran.

WITH little over a fortnight of training time left before the big run, our most ambitious dementia campaign fundraiser to date has already raised 10 per cent of his £10k target.

Self-confessed running novice Danny Fealy is gearing up to take part in the Great Limerick 10K Run on May 5 – where his friends and relatives in his hometown will be lining the streets to support him.

And well-wishers have already pledged more than £1,400 in sponsorship on his Justgiving page, many of whom are in Britain where the Limerick man works in the construction industry.

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Among the most recent donations was a £400 contribution from The Irish Post to help him reach his mammoth target – which will bring us more than halfway to reaching our £20,000 Dementia Volunteer Training Fund.

An early supporter of the Federation of Irish Societies’ Cuimhne campaign, Danny pledged to take the 10k challenge to help raise funds for our joint Dementia Volunteer Training Campaign.

We need to raise £20,000 to train up 50 Irish volunteers with lifelong skills to take into Irish centres, clubs and charities serving the community across Britain, to assist those suffering memory loss or Dementia and the families and carers that support them.

The first stage of the Cuimhne volunteer training initiative has already begun, thanks to an initial donation of £6,000 to the FIS initiative from The Ireland Fund of Great Britain.

That pledge has allowed befriender training to begin in the Milton Keynes Irish Centre, Southwark Irish Pensioners service and in Irish support services in Northampton.

Early reports back show delighted staff members already praising the benefits of having a dementia-trained volunteer on hand to assist in caring for their elderly clients.

For those undertaking the training it’s providing a valuable insight into the world some of their clients face with dementia.

“I feel I can be much more positive now, following the training, when discussing the subject with service users,” a trainee said of the course. “I can offer comfort and practical help now.”

Regarding that initial donation, IFGB Executive Director Sheila Bailey said: “We are very aware of the growing needs of the Irish community and the Dementia challenge facing many older Irish people – including their carers and families.”

With the further £20,000 still to be raised through The Irish Post and community fundraisers like Danny, we can ensure 50 such volunteers are trained up and ready to go out and provide the vital culturally specific services our community needs in the on-going battle with Dementia.

With Danny’s efforts so far and previous donations made by supportive Irish community members – most recently a £400 donation by Irish owned firm Zutec, currently operating its web-based solutions at The Shard in London – we are already past the £4,000 fundraising mark in our £20,000 fundraising challenge, but there is still a way to go.

If you can pledge some support for the Dementia campaign why not go online and support Danny Fealy as he pounds the pavements of Limerick city to help us tackle Dementia in the Irish community across Britain.

You can support Danny at www.justgiving.com/Daniel-Fealy

For further information about the Dementia Campaign visit the FIS website www.irishinbritain.org call 02089004329 or email fionaaudley@ http://http://irishpost.co.uk

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Fiona Audley
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Fiona Audley is Managing Editor with The Irish Post. You can follow her on Twitter @fifiaudley

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