2 April 2020
By Mary Bermingham
The ‘Virtual Marathon’ is due to take place from Friday April 3rd to Sunday April 5th
The generosity of people once again prevails during the COVID-19 pandemic, as communities in Cork and further afield prepare to take part in a 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 April 3rd to Sunday April 5th and will see 96 volunteers taking part in a 30 minute run or walk, for 48 consecutive hours. The participants will remain within a 2km radius of their home, as outlined by the latest Government updates 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 €2000 within three days of going live.
Eoin states, “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 is grateful to see the recent outpour 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.”
Funds raised will go directly to support ALONE’s COVID-19 National Response, which includes a 7-day helpline (from 8am-8pm daily) providing advice and reassurance to older people as well as delivering groceries and essentials where needed.