Generosity hailed by organisers as Concern’s Scalp Walk raises over £2,500 for humanitarian causes

The Derry Concern Group’s annual Scalp Walk has raised over £2,500 for humanitarian causes with volunteer Cora Morrison hailing the incredible generosity of local people.

Cora, who completed the walk with her brother Frank and sister Breida on June 2, said: “There were about two hundred people taking part. They donated well over £2500. This is typical of the generosity of local people who have contributed to our various appeals over the years.”

The Concern Volunteers said the weather was perfect for a hill climb.

“It was neither too hot nor too cold and the rain held off for the whole event.

"The cloud cover at the very top of the mountain added a sense of adventure to the whole walk. This year we placed a special emphasis on family participation.

"This proved to be the case with many family groups taking part. We were especially impressed with the number of very young children walking up the hill.

"The walk is very safe even though it reaches a height of over 1500 ft. This could normally present a number of problems but the McLaughlin family open up their land to us each year,” they stated.

Michael McLaughlin farms the land where the event takes place. His father Henry has facilitated the climb for years.

He said: “We are always pleased to host this event every year. We are used to life on the mountain but it gives people a chance to appreciate the countryside and enjoy the great views. Normally I like to take part myself but I was particularly busy shearing sheep.

"The family was represented by my sister Kathleen McCallion who likes to take part every year.”

One of the youngest walkers was seven years old Aidan Conway: “My brother Patrick and my cousins from Belfast have done the walk up the mountain many times. This year was my turn.

"I was a bit nervous but I found it was not too tough. I was very excited about going into the clouds. I really enjoyed the bar of chocolate when we reached the top.”

Ms. Morrison said the walk was an opportunity to highlight the work of Concern.

"Concern has a presence in 26 countries around the world which find themselves in enormous difficulties due to a variety of causes: climate change, natural disasters and war.

"One example is the desperately poor desert country of Chad. Half a million people have fled to Chad from the war in Sudan. Concern provides food, shelter and medical supplies to these families.

"The contribution of Concern in many disaster situations like Sudan is only part of their work. In the longer term, the main aim of Concern’s work is to strengthen food security,” she said.

Concern’s Public Fundraising Executive Isabel Brennan also got her walking boots on.

“An amazing day for all involved. I thoroughly enjoyed my trek up into the clouds and getting to meet the other walkers.

"Congratulations to all those taking part and to the Derry group who organised the event. We are delighted so many walkers chose to support the work of Concern Worldwide in tackling extreme poverty in the world’s poorest communities.

"It would not be possible without the compassion and generosity of our supporters,” she said.

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