Ulster Farmers’ Union staff are making their final preparations for the UFU centenary challenge walk this Monday (4th June) where they will be taking on five peaks, across six counties in one day.
The challenge has been organised, all to raise money for the charity Air Ambulance NI. The UFU has set an ambitious goal to raise £100,000 in its centenary year for this live-saving charity.
UFU president Ivor Ferguson says the staff have taken on an impressive challenge.
He added: “Over the course of the day they will be walking 14 miles and climbing to a combined height of 4593 feet. To put it in perspective – it is the same length as 18 football pitches and more than 13 times the height of the Harland and Wolf shipbuilding cranes in Belfast.”
UFU staff will be starting off at 7am on Slieve Gullion in county Armagh, then making their way to Cuilcagh in county Fermanagh, Sawel between the borders of counties Tyrone and Londonderry, Slemish in county Antrim and finish at Slieve Croob in Co Down at around 10pm.
The aim of the day is to raise money for the charity Air Ambulance NI, a service that the UFU sees as vital for rural dwellers.
Mr Ferguson says: “The air ambulance gets help to hard to reach places fast. It is a crucial service for rural areas; already it has been called out to a number of farming incidents.”
The Air Ambulance needs around £2.5 million pounds a year to keep it operational. One call-out to an emergency costs on average £5,500 pounds.
“Staff have been busy training over the last number of weeks and their family and friends have shown support with donations.
“Many UFU members have already been generous in their support for the UFU Air Ambulance appeal but if you haven’t made a donation yet, please get behind the staff and show your support for their fantastic effort,” says the UFU president.
To make a donation, contact UFU HQ on 02890 370 222 or go to centenary.ufuni.org and click on ‘Donate.’