NI woman to run 41 miles for supported living provider’s community garden programme and she’s calling on the NI public to join her

Julie Marshall, Finance Officer at Abbeyfield and Wesley will ‘Run Around the Houses’ in what is a lengthy coastal route from Donaghadee to Carrickfergus

Abbeyfield and Wesley, the supported living provider with 20 properties here, is calling on its residents’ families, friends and the general public to support its Finance Officer, Julie Marshall, as she embarks on a 41-mile run to support its outdoor initiative on Friday 13 May 2022.

Julie will ‘Run Around the Houses’ from Abbeyfield’s Barnagh Close property in Donaghadee to its Wesley Court site in Carrickfergus in a bid to raise funds for the Breath of Fresh Air programme. 

This programme sees the home provider create lovingly nurtured outdoor spaces, beautifully crafted and populated with flora and fauna that support the wellbeing of older people residing at Abbeyfield and Wesley Housing Association’s sites here. 

It has already launched outdoor spaces at its Carrickfergus, Lurgan and east Belfast sites among others, where it transformed unused spaces into community gardens. 

Paths, flowers and vegetables as well as seating areas encourage residents to spend time outdoors to boost their mental and physical well-being as well as supporting immunity strength and promoting good sleep habits.

More financial support is needed to roll the initiative out to other properties however, which has prompted Julie to undertake the huge challenge of running 41 miles. 

Her path will see her pass 11 Abbeyfield and Wesley properties with a fundraising target of £5,000 and now she is asking the public for help. Support can be given in donations or by morally supporting her on part of the run, or indeed all of it.

Abbeyfield and Wesley has also set up a charity page on Just Giving to make it easy for online donations –  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/abbeyfield-wesley

Sponsorships are also welcomed as too are supporters who wish to cheer Julie on her mission.

Speaking about the run, Julie Marshall, who is from Carrickfergus, said: “I really enjoy running and the Run Around the Houses is a great way to combine work and pleasure all for a wonderful project.

“If there are any runners out there who would like to join me for part of the run, or even all of it, please get in touch.”

Geraldine Gilpin, Chief Executive, Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association said: “We wish Julie all the best with her Run Around the Houses in aid of our Breath of Fresh Air programme. 

“This is no easy feat. It’s a very lengthy route with many challenges on the way and we take our hats off to Julie for undertaking this endeavour.

“While we will be cheering her on along the way, we would love to have members of the public and friends and family of Abbeyfield and Wesley to join us on this adventure.”

The approximate timeline for the run on Friday 13 May is Abbeyfield & Wesley houses at 1 Barnagh Close, Donaghadee at 8.45am; 9-11 The Parade, Donaghadee; 63 Ballyholme Road, Bangor at 10.05am; 2A Ward Avenue, Bangor; 111 Hamilton Road, Bangor; 43 Church Road, Holywood at 12.05pm; 7 Palmerston Road at 1.05pm; 1A Merville Garden Village at 2.35pm; Bryans House, New Mossley at 3.25pm; 23 Glasillan Grove, Greenisland at 4.20pm; and finishing line at Wesley Court, Belfast Road Carrickfergus at approx. 5.00pm.

Abbeyfield and Wesley Housing Association manages supported, sheltered houses in Ballycastle, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Bangor, Donaghadee, Downpatrick, Greenisland, Holywood, Lurgan, Newtownabbey and Portstewart.

In addition, the charity also runs Palmerston residential dementia care home in East Belfast and three sheltered schemes in Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey and Belfast. 

For further information on Abbeyfield and Wesley and the Run Around the Houses event please check out www.abbeyfieldandwesley.org.uk

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