Derry girl tackles 155k walking challenge to raise money for NSPCC Northern Ireland

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A Derry girl is walking 155km in 31 days to raise money for the NSPCC's Helpline service.

Bronagh Officer, a helpline practice manager with the charity, has been trekking across Derry and Belfast clocking up her miles to meet a target of 5k per day before the end of March.

Between her busy Helpline shift work in Belfast and family time at home in Derry, Bronagh - a former pupil of Thornhill College, who has been working for NSPCC NI since 2020 - regularly includes Derry landmarks such as the Guildhall and the 400-year-old ramparts of the City Walls on her 5k a day route.

“The NSPCC’s free Helpline service offers advice and support on all issues affecting children and also provides adults with a place where they can share their concerns about a child or get general information about child protection,” says Bronagh.

Bronagh Officer, NSPCC Northern Ireland Helpline Practice Manager. Bronagh aims to clock up 155km throughout March in aid of the charity’s Helpline service.Bronagh Officer, NSPCC Northern Ireland Helpline Practice Manager. Bronagh aims to clock up 155km throughout March in aid of the charity’s Helpline service.
Bronagh Officer, NSPCC Northern Ireland Helpline Practice Manager. Bronagh aims to clock up 155km throughout March in aid of the charity’s Helpline service.

“As a helpline practice manager, I see first-hand how important the service is and the need to protect children and help prevent child abuse.

“Every day, hundreds of adults from all over the UK contact the Helpline with concerns about children. It’s important that we are there for anyone who needs us. Any donation, no matter how small, can make a difference.”

Bronagh has undertaken the 155K March challenge alongside three colleagues, including one from the Helpline base in Birmingham, and together they initially aimed to raise £200.

“Our original target was £200, and we’ve already doubled that, which is fantastic,” she says. “£5 helps to cover one Helpline call. This call could help change the life of a child or family for the better, and that keeps me motivated to complete the 155K and raise as much as I can.”

Bronagh, getting in one of her 5k a day, at home, on the Derry Walls.Bronagh, getting in one of her 5k a day, at home, on the Derry Walls.
Bronagh, getting in one of her 5k a day, at home, on the Derry Walls.

Susan Smith, NSPCC Northern Ireland Community Fundraising Manager, said “Over 90% of our income comes from donations. That’s why fundraising is so vitally important to support the services provided by the NSPCC.

“Bronagh has taken on quite the challenge and we are immensely grateful for her efforts. We wish her the best of luck and hope she doesn’t have too many blisters on her toes when she reaches that 155K!”

*If you would like to donate to Bronagh and the team’s 5K a Day/155K March Challenge, go to www.justgiving.com/team/Helpline5kmTeam

You can contact the NSPCC Helpline by calling 0808 800 5000 or emailing [email protected]

Information about the service can be found by searching ‘Helpline’ at: www.nspcc.org.uk

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