NUI Galway student nurses from Donegal have helped raise more than €2,000 for homeless services after clocking more than 500km on foot. 

The annual fundraising drive is held every year by second years in the School of Nursing and Midwifery as they undertake a module on Community Care. 

The students chose Galway Simon Community as the benefitting charity after students attended a guest lecture given by Amy Lavelle and Brian Hickey of the homeless service. 

Among them were nursing students Hannah O’Donnell and Meabh Keys from Letterkenny. 

(L-R); Hannah O’Donnell from Letterkenny; Rachel Darcy from Loughrea; Tara Slattery from Kilcolgan; Meabh Keys from Letterkenny (holding sign). Photo: Catherine Meagher, lecturer in NUI Galway School of Nursing and Midwifery

Catherine Meagher, lecturer at the NUI Galway School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “Our student nurses got to hear first-hand about the impact the pandemic had on fundraising opportunities and the growing number of people in need of support services offered by the Galway Simon Community. They wanted to do something to help.” 

The student nurses are all attending University remotely. Despite that they organised a 500km fundraising initiative with each student individually walking, jogging or running a distance within their 5km travel limit. The campaign raised more than €2,000, which has been donated to Galway Simon Community. 

(L-R) Roisin Mc Mahon from Clare; Tara Slattery from Kilcolgan; Hannah O’Donnell from Letterkenny; Rachel Darcy Loughrea; Ciarán Freeman from Cabra; Jenny O’Neill from Clare. Photo: Catherine Meagher, lecturer in NUI Galway School of Nursing and Midwifery

Amy Lavelle, Galway Simon Community, said: “We are deeply grateful to have been the chosen charity for this wonderful initiative and we can’t thank the students and lecturer Catherine Meagher enough for all that they did to make it possible.  

“Their motivation to raise funds in support of those facing homelessness in these difficult times was truly inspiring and their compassion will go a long way in their future careers.  

“Covid-19 continues to pose enormous challenges across our services and our ability to raise funds is set to be massively impacted again this year. We truly have never been more reliant on fundraised support like this.”