A marathon challenge for Derry’s Damien

Damien Coyle, Senior support worker at Off The Street's Initiative. (21 05lm 61)
Damien Coyle, Senior support worker at Off The Street's Initiative. (21 05lm 61)

Derry community worker, Damien Coyle, is currently on a mile-amassing, fundraising adventure, which will see him undertake challenges in Derry, Donegal, Strabane, England and Italy, all in aid of assisting impoverished street children in Nairobi, Kenya.

As part of his fundraising drive, Damien, who lives in Burnfoot and works with Off The Streets Initiative in Galliagh, has already raised £200 of his target total of E2,300 thanks to a sponsored climb of Mount Errigal.

With his training almost complete, Damien is currently running in excess of 50 miles per week in order to complete the Walled City marathon next month.

The youth worker will then swap his running shoes for an oar as he plans to row from Strabane to Greencastle in June.

Not content with his North West challenges, Damien has also registered for The Great North Run in Newcastle in September and the Turin half marathon the following month.

He explains: “I’ve always had an adventurous spirit and I’ve always been interested in sport. These challenges however are to show that I’m not just asking for donations, I am willing to put in the hard work and meet challenges in order to raise the money.

“That said, it will be the adventure of a lifetime to go to Kenya.”

After he meets his athletic commitments, Damien will travel to Kenya with Africa Direct in the new year.

There he will work with the street children who inhabit the slums of Nairobi.

“I am a youth worker in Derry but I wanted to take what I have learned and use it in a different environment,” he said.

“Some of their African projects are similar to the service offered by Off The Streets.

“We sign kids up to educational and diversionary projects. I will help our African counterparts develop their own youth provision.” To make a donation log onto www.sponsor.ie/damien-coyle