County Antrim farmer’s 364-mile trek to raise awareness of parental alienation
A County Antrim farmer is planning to walk a marathon a day over 14 days in a bid to raise awareness of the pain and challenges caused by parental alienation.
Charlie Magill’s epic journey will see him cover a staggering 364 miles, from Tragumna Bay in County Cork to Glenarm, County Antrim.
The 52-year-old is raising money for two mental health charities – Turning Point NI and La Dolce Vita.
Both of the charities are well-known for the help and support they provide to those who face struggles following the breakdown of family relationships, and those who experience parental alienation.
To date, before he has even taken a step, the local man has managed to raise more than £7,000 through kind donations from businesses and the public.
Parental alienation is the term used to describe the loss of contact between a parent and their children following a separation, with one parent intentionally denying access to the other.
The Glenarm native felt compelled to take on the challenge after witnessing, first hand, the mental anguish associated with someone losing contact and a relationship with their children.
He felt strongly that something should be done to raise much-needed awareness of this issue.
“Having watched someone go through the experience of losing contact with their children, I have decided to bring the sensitive topic of parental alienation to the forefront across the island of Ireland,” Charlie explained.
“I have seen the devastating effect that it is has on someone close to me - the mental, emotional and physical impact.
“It also does huge damage to the children who are kept away from the other parent through no fault of their own, so I feel very strongly about this.
“The system does not do enough in this area and that needs to change.”
Since beginning his fundraising, Charlie has been overwhelmed by the support of so many kind and generous people who have got in touch with him.
For him, this has reinforced the importance of highlighting parental alienation and mental health.
Parents, both mums and dads from right across Ireland, have resonated with Charlie’s mission.
They have opened up about their own personal, painful experiences, and are feeling encouraged by having someone ‘fighting their corner’.
Some have even decided to join Charlie for part of his walk as he journeys the length of the island.
Charlie will begin his Ireland-long trek on 23 July, finishing on the East Antrim coast on 5 August.
You can support Charlie and his two charities, Ballymena-based Turning Point NI and Londonderry-based La Dolce Vita, by visiting his Go Fund Me page here.