Derry people turn out in force for annual GOAL Mile charity walk

Pupils from Nazareth House Primary School were among walkers who took part in the annual St Stephen's Day GOAL Mile walk from Sainsbury's carpark to Ebrington Square and back. DER5219GS ' 015
Pupils from Nazareth House Primary School were among walkers who took part in the annual St Stephen's Day GOAL Mile walk from Sainsbury's carpark to Ebrington Square and back. DER5219GS ' 015

The Chief Executive of humanitarian aid agency GOAL has thanked the people from Derry who took time out to support its Mile charity walk over the Christmas period.

Local people gathered to help GOAL by walking, running and jogging a mile for GOAL from Sainsbury’s car park to Ebrington and back on December 26.

Now in its 38th year, the GOAL Mile is one of Ireland’s largest and longest-running annual fundraising events.

This year over 140 GOAL Miles were organised all over Ireland, with others taking place abroad.

Last year GOAL reached more than 5.5m people in need around the world. The vital work of the 2,500 GOAL personnel working in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America included supporting those displaced by the ongoing conflict in Syria; running life-saving nutrition programmes s for infants under the age of six months in refugee camps in Ethiopia, and providing emergency response to thousands of people affected by Cyclone Ida in Zimbabwe.

Siobhan Walsh said: “A huge thanks to GOAL Mile organisers in Derry and around Ireland for their support this year. Millions of euros have been raised to support GOAL’s work in the developing world since the first GOAL Mile was staged in 1982. The widespread support of the people of Ireland for the GOAL Mile embodies the true spirit of Christmas. I would like to thank the thousands of people who started their Christmas by taking action to support others.

Miss Walsh added: “The theme of our Christmas Campaign is Far From Home, and I am grateful to all of the dedicated GOAL workers who themselves were far from home this Christmas caring for the families who are displaced from their homes through war, conflict, drought and extreme poverty.

“The Christmas GOAL Mile is much more than an event. It is a very powerful reminder that the people of Ireland will always go the extra mile and in doing so, help create a better world.”