Local Crosskeys man Jimmy O’Boyle is taking on the 8 Mile Walk for the third year in a row in aid of official charity partner Mencap.
With this year’s Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon just weeks away, Jimmy is once again calling on local supporters to help raise funds for learning disability charity Mencap.
Six years ago, Jimmy spent 12 months in hospital, suffering from a tumour and kidney failure. Due to a calcium disease that caused severe muscle weakness, Jimmy was unable to walk. However, with great strength and determination, inspirational Jimmy is back on his feet and has completed six walks for a variety of charities.
“When I recovered from the muscle damage and was able to walk again, I realised I wanted to do something great both for myself and for others,” Jimmy said.
“Over the years I have supported many charities, including the hospital who did so much for me. But this year I am running for Mencap because of the incredible work the charity does for young children across Northern Ireland. I don’t have any kids of my own, but I have seven nieces and three nephews and I love children. I really hope the money I raise will help those children who really need it.”
Jimmy is the longest serving driver for Mulgrew Haulage in Dromore and is looking to his colleagues for some support. In recognition of his beloved Volvo 750 lorry, this year’s marathon organisers have assigned him with the race number 10750.
Last year, Jimmy was Mencap’s top fundraiser for the 8 Mile Walk, a target he is hoping to achieve again this year.
“I like the traditional routes of fundraising,” he said. “Nothing beats asking people with a pen and a sponsorship form. I encourage everyone to give something, no matter how small.”
Margaret Kelly, Director, Mencap Northern Ireland added: “We would like to thank Mr O’Boyle for sharing his story. It is because of people like Jimmy, who dedicate their time to help us, that we can continue to support those with a learning disability in Northern Ireland.
“We want to be able to reach even more young people in Northern Ireland and for this we urgently need funds to keep crucial programmes running and help us launch new initiatives to reach as many families as we can. Later this year, we will launch our Early Years Service which will offer guidance and support to families when a is child diagnosed with a learning disability.
“We encourage everyone to #StepUp4Mencap at the 2017 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon. Whether it’s raising money and training for the full marathon or just donating to a friend who is fundraising, all donations and support will help children with a learning disability have the best chance at a full life.”
For more information about how you can #StepUp4Mencap ahead of the 2017 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 02890 691 351 or visit mencapbigstepforward.org.