A COOKSTOWN man has raised a staggering £13,361 to help those living with sight loss in Northern Ireland.
Philip Mitchell completed a series of mammoth fundraising challenges to raise cash for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB NI).
The fitness trainer walked 20 marathons in 20 days and swam across Lough Neagh as well as fundraising on the ground around Mid-Ulster.
Many local clubs and community organisations came forward with donations and local Magherafelt sports shop, Sportique, donated walking equipment to Philip.
Commenting on the support Philip Mitchell said: “The support from the public for my challenge has been simply over-whelming and I’d especially like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank those who contributed in any way.
“Not only those who donated money, but also the local businesses and community organisations that supported me throughout all the activities of Challenge 20/20.”
Philip’s 524 mile walk round Ulster began from Cookstown on the morning of 11 August, then onwards to Omagh, Strabane, Derry/Lderry, Limavady, Coleraine, Portballintrea, Ballycastle, Waterfoot, Larne, Antrim, Glengormley, Bangor, Portaferry, Comber, Downpatrick, Newcastle, Warrenpoint, Bambridge, Armagh and finally finishing at the ASDA store in Cookstown, who had organised a ‘Welcome Home’ event for Philip, on 31 August 2012.
Challenge 20/20 seen Philip, along with many supporters, raise awareness and much needed funds for the charity by way of events and activities such as a relay team running the Belfast Marathon in May, a ‘Dining in the Dark’ experience at Killymoon Golf Club in June, ASDA Cookstown 2 day bag pack in June, a ‘Man Versus Food’ event in The Millcourt, Coalisland in September and a swim across Lough Neagh in September.
This momentous achievement certainly resulted in many people being inspired by Philip’s actions and joining him at different points along his epic walk which ran across 20 consecutive days.
Jackie Cotton, RNIB NI Community Vision Co-ordinator (CVC) for Mid Ulster, said: “All of us at RNIB NI are extremely grateful to Philip. This incredible amount of money will go a long way in allowing us to continue our work.” The money raised by Philip, and others like him, enables RNIB NI to continue to support blind and partially sighted people through the services we offer.