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Julie seeks support to run 41 miles ‘around the houses’

A Finance Officer at Abbeyfield and Wesley is ready to ‘Run Around the Houses’ on a lengthy coastal route from Donaghadee to Carrickfergus.

Supported living provider, Abbeyfield and Wesley is calling on its residents’ families, friends and the general public to support Carrickfergus woman Julie Marshall, as she embarks on a 41-mile run to support its outdoor initiative on Friday, May 13.

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.

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The 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 site 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.

Pictured are (l-r) Joan McKinley, Resident, Abbeyfield & Wesley; Shauna Caldwell, Administrator, Abbeyfield & Wesley; Julie Marshall (from Carrickfergus), Finance Officer, Abbeyfield and Wesley; Geraldine Gilpin, Chief Executive, Abbeyfield & Wesley; Lily Gault, Resident; Sally Campton, Community Engagement Manager, Abbeyfield and Wesley; and Chris Houston, Resident.

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.

Julie 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: “This is no easy feat. 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.”

Setting off at 8.45am in Donaghadee it is estimated that Julie will make the finishing line at Wesley Court in Carrickfergus at approx. 5pm.