WOULD you go to the end of the world to help someone?
That’s the challenge being posed by a new West of Ireland initiative — sounds a pretty tough task? Well, it’s easier than you think. You don’t need to travel thousands of kilometres ... in fact, walking just a little over 100kms will get you to the end of the world.
Benny Cunningham, of Monksland, Athlone, a founder member of StepIn — a Roscommon-based service helping people with intellectual disabilities live independent lives — explained: “In medieval times, pilgrims thought the edge of the world was Finisterre in Northern Spain; that’s how it came to get its name. They would walk on to to “the end of the world” after making their pilgrimage to Santiago.”
Now that trek from Santiago to Finisterre is being re-created by StepIn in May to help further its work. It sets up networks for vulnerable people who want greater independence outside traditional residential care. Two networks have already been founded — in Athlone and Roscommon town — and more are planned.
StepIn was set up by the Brothers of Charity in Roscommon. And it was six members of their staff who were the inspiration for the fund-raising idea. For the past six years (check) the “blister sisters” have been walking chunks of the Camino de Santiago, an 800km trek from the base of the Pyrenees in France to Santiago de Compostella.
They reached their goal in 2012 and are hoping to join the board of StepIn and supporters on the final leg for the End of the World Walk.
The fundraising trek to Finisterre — via Muxia — starts in Santiago on May 12. It’s 113kms long and takes four days by the recommended stages, but it’s an independent challenge so walkers can go at their own pace and timeline.
Participants make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. StepIn also is also encouraging participation from fundraisers who may wish to walk on different dates in April or May.
Anyone interested in taking part should contact email@example.com, phone Brian on 086 8114906, Noelin on 087 6596110 or log on to www.stepin.ie. More details will be sent on to interested parties.
Media contacts: For more details: Contact Brian Feeney, chairperson of StepIn, on 086 8114906, firstname.lastname@example.org or Noelin Fox, director of StepIn on 087 6596110