On day 40 of her challenge, this determined Donegal woman is well on her way to reaching her fundraising goal for her community.
Well-known West Donegal woman Brid Sweeney is walking to Barbados.
Well, technically not, since she lives in Loughanure, but Brid estimates she’ll cover almost 6,500 kilometres as she stacks up an average of 120kms a week on her walking challenge.
At the start of the year, Brid vowed to walk each day and every day for the entire year – all 365 days!
And so far she has been true to her word.
She has two goals – to keep fit and to raise some much-needed funds to help Ionad Naomh Pádraig in Dobhar to create a special place of reflection in memory of those who have passed in the community.
Today is day 40 but Brid is already within touching distance of her goal of €9,000 on her Go Fund Me page: https://gofund.me/13a6505f
Ionad Naomh Pádraig have raised €3,000 and Brid has raised another €2,000 with sponsorship cards.
They plan to stop the Go Fund Me Page when they have enough money raised shortly for the special place of reflection which will include a sculpture.
Although just over a month on the go, Brid has almost hit her goal.
And she couldn’t be hapier by the reaction and encouragement she has received from locals.
“Everyoe has been so supportive and kind to me,” she told Donegal Daily. “Peopel actually stop and give me money along the way. It’s incredible. It has really shown me the good side of people despite all we are going through.”
Brid, who is originally from Dobhair, said she has two things she like doing – walking and Facebook.
“I dont watch TV and I don’t read. Walking and Facebook are my two things and I’m doing a lot of them recently,” she adds.
Brid isn’t short of company as she walks twice a day with friend Ella Byrnes accompanying her on her evening jaunts.
She has a very special guest accompanying her each morning in the shape of pop star and former Genesis front Phil Collins on her headphones.
“Phil comes with me every morning. He never disagrees with me and he’s always in good form singing away,” laughs Brid.
She said there isn’t a morning when she gets up and wishes she was back under the warmth of her duvet.
“I can’t sit still. Anybody who knows me will tell you that. I just love walking.
“And I’m just so glad that the outcome of this will create a very special place for so many people to enjoy eventually,” she said.
Their plan is to develop a communal reflection space in the heart of our community, in loving memory of all our dear young people who have died in the prime of their youth, and in remembrance of those who have died suddenly and tragically down through the years.
The location will be an oasis of peace, spirituality, comfort and solace for parents, guardians, family members and friends of our dear young people who live on in the hearts and memories of their loved ones and in that of the extended community.
They firmly believe that there is a deep need for such a focal point in the heart of our community.
A place of tranquillity, rest and contemplation for inner-peace, amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A place to inspire and empower both young and old to focus on and care for their mental health and wellbeing.
And who better to inspire that vision that someone who simply loves what they’re doing. Walk on Brid….
If you would like to donate to Brid’s amazing gesture please click on https://www.gofundme.com/f/brid-winnies-365-day-walk-for-charity