Charity’s ‘Walk of Hope’ to help people with depression

Some of the Via Wings staff and volunteers who've been braving the unseasonal weather to train for their upcoming 84-mile Walk of Hope.
Some of the Via Wings staff and volunteers who've been braving the unseasonal weather to train for their upcoming 84-mile Walk of Hope.

Staff and volunteers from a Dromore-based charity are getting ready to take on an 84-mile walk to raise awareness about mental health issues.

Any funds raised along the way will go towards helping fund a therapeutic suite in Dromore, to support people living with conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Around 20 women representing faith-based charity Via Wings will set off from Dromore on August 10, and over four days are planning to complete a ‘Walk of Hope’ to Dublin.

They will carry rucksacks containing stones - symbolic of how many people with depression feel on a daily basis - and are planning to call with a number of other mental health and suicide prevention projects along the route.

The walk will also highlight the charity’s message that there is light at the end of the tunnel and people can come together and support each other every step of the way.

Gail Redmond, founder of Via Wings, explained that the charity offers help and support to people living with a variety of mental health issues.

“We all may be slightly different and going through our own rocky journey, but we are all coming together for our community. Depression is a dreadful illness and we have lost people who have been very close to us, so it’s time that we all stand together,” she said.

The walkers are hoping the event will help them raise at least £5,000 towards the cost of providing a therapeutic suite within their new home in Dromore, offering alternative treatments such as aroma therapy and massage, and teaching important skills such as relaxation, mindfulness and breathing techniques.

Backing the charity’s fundraising effort, Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said: “Via Wings is an excellent local charity who undertake vital work with local people who have mental health problems. I have witnessed for myself the positive impact their work is having on many people.

“The ‘Walk of Hope’ organised by Via Wings is aimed at raising much needed funds for this important service to the local community and I wish them all the best with this effort. I would encourage local people to consider supporting this worthy cause.”

Anyone who would like to offer the walkers support should call 028 9269 8378 or email fundraising@viawings.co.uk

Donations to the Via Wings appeal can be made online at

www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/viawings/walkofhope