Dromore charity raises £18K for local mental health services in mighty Miles for Minds challenge

Via Wings, a charity with a dedicated and loyal team of volunteers based in Dromore, Co. Down, sets off on its mighty Miles4Minds challenge today (Thursday, 1 July).

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 9:28 am
The team at Via Wings, pictured, are walking to raise awareness and funds for mental health problems. The money will go towards a Wellbeing Centre equipped for helping people with ill-mental health

Walking from Portrush to Dromore, a staggering total of 69 miles, the members and friends of the charity are walking over three days to raise awareness of mental health issues and raise funds to renovate the Via Wings Wellbeing Centre for all the community.

Having commenced the epic challenge on Thursday, the walk comes to an end this Saturday in the charity’s home town.

The Dromore charity, which made headlines earlier this month when it was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, had raised close to £18K at the time of publication.

The impressive sum will go towards a ‘‘much- needed’’ Wellbeing Centre for the local area. It comes as the charity has said the facilities in the town are ‘‘inadequate’’ for the current need.

Founder of Via Wings, Gail Redmond, BEM, said: “If you see our team of ladies walking, get behind them and give them lots of support.

‘‘It is a huge challenge and we are filled with anticipation, excitement and a certain amount of trepidation but we are putting ourselves out of our comfort zone for this hugely worthwhile cause. The Wings team are passionate about helping others, raising awareness of mental health and providing a much needed wellbeing centre.

‘‘We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received and once again our community has pulled together and already raised an incredible amount. If you can, please support the team by donating, sharing on social media or giving the team a wave or a beep if we pass through your area.

''Together we can meet needs and change lives.’’

Via Wings explain on their Just Giving page: ‘‘At Via Wings we believe mental health issues affect everyone at some point throughout life: your neighbour, your work colleague, your child’s school friend, someone you love, or yourself.

‘‘Northern Ireland has the highest rate of mental health issues in the UK with one in four of us affected. Children's mental health-illness is rising rapidly especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. Current referral times to receive help are between six to nine weeks. Something has to change.

‘‘In our community, as in many other across the country we have seen first hand the devastating effects of mental illness and suicide. Not everyone can be ‘fixed’ but the aim of our Wellbeing Centre is to walk alongside those struggling and help to provide tools for coping through counselling, wellbeing therapies and mindfulness courses.

‘‘By taking on this challenge to walk from Ramore 2 Dromore, we walk beside those facing mental health challenges. We will remember every step of the way, when we are sore and tired and feel like its too much, how our loved ones, friends, neighbours and ourselves battle mental health issues every single day. Walking side by side as a team of women supporting each other through the journey.

‘‘Individually we can do a little, but together we can do a lot.’’

To support Via Wings visit their Just Giving page at: justgiving.com/campaign/miles4minds.