A West Belfast woman is preparing to walk a mammoth one million steps all the while promoting and fundraising for two vital mental health awareness charity organisations. 

Lenadoon’s Carly Walsh told the Andersonstown News how she had been bereaved by suicide at the start of the year.  Carly credited Downpatrick-based ALPS (All Lives Are Precious) and Talk To Thom for providing crucial ongoing support as she and her loved ones take each day as it comes to try and cope with their devastating loss. 

“With the current Covid-19 crisis going on I felt I needed to do something positive and to give back to help those who helped me,” she said. 

“The staff at ALPS and Talk to Thom are two very worthy causes, very close to my heart that are day-to-day changing lives within our communities. I had endless coffee meeting with their staff as I tried to come to terms with the loss of a loved one, their staff offered endless support and were willing to do anything to help whether that was sourcing a GP or counsellor appointment or just to cry down the phone,” she said. 

“It was the help and support from these two charitable organisations that drive me to just wanting to raise as much funds for them as I can really.”

In between studying for her degree in Bio Medical Science and working in a local pharmacy, Carly signed up for the ‘Walk A Million’ challenge, which she hopes to complete in time to mark World Suicide Prevention Day in September.

“Myself and others who have signed up are going all across the north, to Fermangh, the Mourne Mountains, to Divis, Lady Dixon Park to complete the steps and the challenge. 

“One million steps is around 500 miles and if I’m able to raise a £1 a mile I’ll be delighted. So far I’ve raised over £100 and want to thank everyone who has got behind me to do this. Fundraising by small organisations have been hit badly due to the Coronavirus. By signing up to this, it’s my way of being able to help those who have helped me."

To donate to Carly’s fundraiser visit: www.gofundme.com/Walk A Million challenge