Derry man Brendy Donnelly completes 30/30 press up challenge for Foyle Search & Rescue

A Derry man has completed a major 30-day fitness challenge to raise funds for Foyle Search and Rescue.

Brendan (Brendy) Donnelly set himself the challenge of completing 30 press ups a day and some circuit training over the last month, commencing on his 36th birthday on November 1 and finishing up on Wednesday at some city centre landmarks.

Relatives, FSR representatives and members of cross-community youth project R.E.A.C.H. Across, where Brendan is a volunteer, were on hand to celebrate with him after he completed the challenge. He has now surpassed his original £150 target, raising over £500 so far in a fundraiser which will remain active for a few more days.

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The Creggan man’s fundraising initiative was inspired by the 21/21 challenge which started during the COVID-19 lockdowns to promote mental health awareness.

Speaking about the importance of Foyle Search and Rescue, Brendan said: “A lot of people lose their lives to the Foyle. It is tragic. Foyle Search and Rescue do patrol along the riverbanks and the bridges and if someone goes in they get their rapidly. Sadly if a person drowns they will look for the person and won’t stop until the person is found. I just think they are unsung heroes of the city.”

Brendan said he saw the vital work of the Derry charity after a young person who attended the same school as him died and was recovered from the river by FSR.

"It took quite while to find him and we all done patrols of the banks and Foyle Search & Rescue searched for him and didn’t stop until he was returned to the family.”

Brendan said he took on the challenge as he was reasonably healthy but had struggled at points. “I have epilepsy, and if I miss a day it is most likely because I had a seizure, and if I miss a day I’ll do a circuit the next night, 30 squats and 30 press ups.

Brendan Donnelly, a volunteer with Reach Across cross-community youth group, who completed 30 days of push-ups during November, raising £420 for Foyle Search and Rescue is presented with a donation by Chloe McCartney present a donation of £55, on behalf of the Reach Across group, on Wednesday evening last. Included in the photograph are Rossa Smallman, FSR and members of the Reach Across band. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2248GS – 44

"I’ve had injuries because of seizures but I still had to do it because I dedicated myself to it and I said the whole way through I’ll finish it no matter what.”

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True to his word, Brendy said it was a great feeling and a relief to have completed the challenge and praised the support he has received from R.E.A.C.H. Across and his wife Shauna, who documented the achievement on video and was a vital support to her husband.

Details of how to donate are on Brendy Donnelly’s Facebook page

You can also click on the link here to donate:

Brendan Donnelly, a volunteer with Reach Across cross-community youth group , pictured completing the last of his 30 days of push-ups, on Wednesday evening last, raising £420 for Foyle Search and Rescue. Included in the photograph are Rossa Smallman, FSR and members of the Reach Across band. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2248GS – 43
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