Local people asked to GOAL that extra mile on St Stephen’s Day

Pictured at the launch of the annual GOAL Mile walk at Sainsburys car park on Monday afternoon are, from left, Lea Casey, John Hume and organizer Dr Lee Casey. The Goal Mile will set off on St Stephen's Day from Sainsburys. DER5215GS001
Pictured at the launch of the annual GOAL Mile walk at Sainsburys car park on Monday afternoon are, from left, Lea Casey, John Hume and organizer Dr Lee Casey. The Goal Mile will set off on St Stephen's Day from Sainsburys. DER5215GS001

Nobel prize winner John Hume has thrown his support behind this year’s annual GOAL event.

Local people have been asked to go the extra mile on St Stephen’s Day in an effort to raise money for charity GOAL.

In the midst of all the mad rushing around to pick up last minute gifts or ‘must haves’ for Christmas dinner, take a minute or two to think how lucky you are to have the luxury of such stress.

The continued conflict in Syria has led to the internal displacement of 7.6 million people and over 12 million are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Over 4 million people have become refugees in neighbouring countries with not much more than the clothes on their backs. Just think what they would give to be stressed over Christmas shopping.

Irish humanitarian charity GOAL has been working in Syria since 2012, with current projects benefitting over 2 million people in the war torn country. GOAL’s immediate priority is to help sustain life and its focus in Syria is on delivering food and non-food items such as blankets.

They are also supporting bakeries to increase the availability of affordable bread, repairing houses, rehabilitating water networks to provide safe water, and supporting livelihoods.

In Syria, GOAL staff also face formidable security challenges and risks in providing the necessary humanitarian assistance.

They frequently confront bombings, shelling and getting caught up in clashes between rival parties in the conflict.

Local people are invited to put their best foot forward on St Stephen’s Day this Saturday (December 26th) in a show of support for GOAL’s work in the Syria.

The annual GOAL Mile is one of GOAL’s flagship events aimed at raising much needed funds as well as awareness of charity’s humanitarian work.

The meeting point for the Derry GOAL Mile will be Sainsbury’s Car Park, Strand Road on December 26th at 12 noon. There will be no registration forms or paper work to be completed.

Just turn up on the day – with a handful of loose change to throw in the collection bucket before making your way on foot, bike, roller blades, buggy to the Peace Bridge, across to Ebrington Square and back again to Sainbury’s.

The GOAL Mile has been running in Ireland for over 30 years and getting involved is now a Christmas tradition for many local families. GOAL Miles are held at over 140 venues around the country so when you walk along the River Foyle next Saturday, you’ll be walking in solidarity for the Syrian refugee with upwards of 30,000 other participants doing the GOAL mile the length and breadth of Ireland.

The first GOAL mile in Derry was organised by Sister Bernadine, who at the time was principal of Nazareth House PS. Sister Bernardine has since retired and is living in Sligo but she says she is delighted that local people have taken on the challenge to make it a proper family Christmas tradition in Derry.