Saturday 24 February 2018

Fundraiser: How to have an adventure and help your favourite charity

Irish companies are offering 'charity adventure' holidays, writes Graham Clifford

Beth Dinsmore of Suas with her husband Jonathan Griffin at Mount Everest.
Beth Dinsmore of Suas with her husband Jonathan Griffin at Mount Everest.
Niall Mellon
Runner with American flag participates in a fun run in Central Park...A runner with an American flag participates in a fun run in Central Park after the New York Road Runners cancelled the 2012 New York Marathon due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy hitting the region, New York, November 4, 2012. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SPORT ATHLETICS)...A

Fancy pushing yourself to the limit and stepping out of your comfort zone . . . while at the same time contributing to a worthwhile cause?

Well, a growing number of Irish charities are offering adventure holidays to daring fundraisers who like to walk on the wild side.

You can trek through some of the world's highest mountain ranges, climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or push yourself to the finishing line in the gruelling New York marathon.

Those signing up will usually – but not always – have to pay their own fare and then fund-raise an equivalent amount for the charity.

Irish people of all ages and backgrounds go the extra mile for charity each year.

Tempted? Well here are just some of the fund-raising opportunities available to those who want to do more than get their head shaved or body waxed!

Lake District UK 'Blazing Bikers' Challenge

May 2013

Charity: Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

Enjoy the feeling of the wind in your hair as you race through the open countryside on your motorbike?

Well, father and daughter team Billy and Katriona Shanahan have come up with a way where that thrill can be experienced while also raising money for charity.

In aid of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind the 'Blazing Bikers' adventure will see around 100 bikes leave Ireland for the Lake District in the North of England on the May bank holiday weekend (May 3 to 6)

It's the sixth year of the motorbike challenge and 1,200km will be covered over four days.

"It's a wonderful trip and over the years great friendships have been built. We brief every biker before each ride and make sure no one is left alone on the road. Once based in a hotel in the North of England we'll go on various trips each day and the craic will be something else," says Katriona, who's busy looking for sponsorship for the challenge.

Suited to both groups and individuals the cost of taking part in the Blazing Bikers weekend is €550 for drivers and €350 for pillion passengers. At least half of all the money raised will go to the Irish guide dogs charity.

For more information contact or visit

Climb Kilimanjaro

June, 2013

Charity: The Irish Heart Foundation

As challenges go few compare to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak.

This year marks the heart charity's third year to send a walking team to the Tanzanian mountain and its hoped as many as 25 people will make the trip from Ireland.

"The Irish Heart Foundation has been organising overseas treks around the world for more than 20 years. We've always been amazed by the generosity of people when they meet someone who is taking on such a big challenge for such a worthy cause," says Caroline Cullen from the Heart Foundation.

You don't have to be an experienced climber to make it all the way to Kilimanjaro's peak but it best suits the "hill walker looking to combine a high mountain adventure with going to Africa".

The fundraising target for those wishing to take part is €4,995. Of that €2,595 pays for each volunteer's trip while the remaining €2,400 goes to the Heart Foundation.

Money raised from Climb Kilimanjaro 2013 will specifically go towards the foundation's F.A.S.T Stroke campaign.

For more information email or to find out more about the Irish Heart Foundation visit

New York City Marathon

November 3, 2013

Charity: Croí – West of Ireland Cardiac Foundation

Described as the world's greatest marathon, the 26.2-mile course in New York City sees competitors pass through five boroughs before crossing the finishing line in Central Park.

As their feet pound the streets of the Big Apple 2.5 million New Yorkers come out to roar on the 48,000 runners, and over the last few years competitors representing the Croí charity based in Galway have been amongst them.

Last year a team of 30 runners left Ireland for New York to take part and organisers are hoping for even more entrants in 2013.

The package will cost those wishing to take part in the region of €4,000, with half of that going to the charity.

"What often happens is the runners fund-raise €2,000 and they pay the other €2,000 out of their own pocket" said Barry from Croí.

The impressive marathon tour includes race entry, return flights, a private coach, a team physio, four nights' accommodation as well as travel and marathon insurance.

For more information email or visit

Building Homes in Kenya

November 10-16, 2013

Charity: Niall Mellon Township Trust

In 10 years the Niall Mellon Township Trust has built 20,000 houses in South Africa.

As many as 12,000 volunteers gave their time and effort to travel to Cape Town and roll up their sleeves.

It's estimated that at least 100,000 South Africans now have a warm, comfortable and safe home in which to live thanks to the work of the charity.

In 2013 the Trust is changing tack, and it's picking up its shovels and trowels and moving its focus to poverty-stricken Kenya.

In November a 'building blitz' will take place in the country.

Over seven days, volunteers will put houses together working from 8am to 5pm but no building expertise or previous experience is required.

New volunteers who want to become part of the Niall Mellon Township Trust team for the first time are asked to fund-raise €4,500. 'Veteran volunteers' who have worked on a 'building blitz' before need to raise €4,000.

€1,500 of that total goes towards the logistical costs of getting volunteers out to Kenya while the remainder will pay for building materials.

Explaining the impact of the trip on volunteers, one said: "It makes me proud to be Irish, to be a part of a group of ordinary people from every walk of life who come together to make an extraordinary team. It's the best thing I have ever done."

For more information more visit

Irish Independent

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