Wednesday 30 June was a time to celebrate a remarkable fundraising effort by Simon Malley. Beginning on 9 April he undertook a sponsored wheelchair push, to raise funds for Aware. This came to end at St David’s Church of Ireland church in Naas on the afternoon of 30 June.
After spending the last year in lockdown and being restricted to a 5km radius, Simon wondered how many kms he could do in his wheelchair in a month without leaving his 5km restriction. He set himself an initial goal of 200 km which he hoped to achieve between the 9th April and 30th June to raise much needed funds for the charity Aware.
He has far exceeded his targets. Not only did he push over 1000kms, raising almost €3000. The end of this amazing feat was marked by a special service, held in accordance with government pandemic guidelines. Given the pandemic the service was strictly private but there was an opportunity to watch it online.
It was an opportunity to offer thanks to God for the work of Aware and celebrate Simon’s achievement. Mr Drew Flood 9Aware) spoke on the work of Aware. Talking of how Simon had done something even more than raising significant funds for the work of Aware, he said: “What Simon has done is absolutely superb. He had broken down the stigma about mental health. He has opened up the conversation.” He also complimented his resilience and determination in completing the task he set himself.
Talking about why he has set himself this challenge Simon said, “With everything that has happened over this last year I wanted to make people aware of the great work and help that is available through the work of Aware.” He also thanked everyone who had given him so much support and encouragement.
Bishop Pat Storey, who attended the Service commended Simon. She said, “This last 18 months has been so tough for people across the country. It makes us all the more appreciative of the work of Aware. Simon had the inspiration and drive to do something remarkable, to raise funds for Aware. The achievement is truly worthy of celebration.”
Aware is one of the partners in the dioceses of Meath and Kildare’s ‘Mind Yourself’ project – to raise awareness of mental health issues and point people to where they can find support and help. Aware is a national organisation providing free support, education and information services to those impacted by anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and related mood conditions.
You can still donate to Simon’s JustGiving page by clicking here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/50kwheelchairpush2021?