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ACC Around the World in 80 Days Fundraiser kicks off to support frontline workers

ACC Around the World in 80 Days Fundraiser helps three local charities in desperate need of financial help during the Covid-19 pandemic. Pictured above are members of Abbeyfeale Cycling Club.

ACC Around the World in 80 Days Fundraiser kicks off to support frontline workers

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Sophia DiBattista

Starting May 18, the Abbeyfeale Cycling Club has embarked on a new journey in which they will be cycling 40,000 km to support frontline workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Abbeyfeale Cycling Club (ACC) was established to bring together people who had an interest in cycling. Since it began, the Club has participated and organised many charity events and fundraisers for worthy recipients. Now with the troubles of Covid-19 happening, the ACC decided to step up their game with a new challenge: cycling 44,000 km in 80 days.

To complete the challenge, each Club member must cycle a total of 800 km within the 80 day time period. The cycling will be done while abiding by Covid-19 restrictions set out by the government. They have created a GoFundMe page to collect donations from their supporters, which has raised over €2,000 of their €10,000 goal.

The donations will go towards the Brothers of Charity, Rathfredagh Chesire Home and St. Ita’s Day Care Centre. When the pandemic started, these organisations have seen their services and resources become more desired, needing to meet the demands of their members. With an increased number of frontline workers, equipment shortages, closures of their buildings and cancelled fundraising events, all three charities are in desperate need of financial assistance.

Club Pro Peter English talked about the challenge and how important it was to come up with a fundraiser saying, “In Abbeyfeale Cycling Club because we have (last count) 64 members, we cast a big net with people associated with the charities in the area because of family members requiring specific care, and they were the people that were going to lose out, so we decided to step in. What we were going to do was debated for a bit with different idea’s put forward. These did not push our buttons, and just like that “Around the World in 80 Day’s” manifested itself.”

“To say the least it would be a challenge, we got commitment from 45 members to do the challenge which works out at 40,000kms equals 50 members doing 800kms over 80 days. We did not just want the “Elite’s” jumping in. We wanted to include every member, and if they only did 20kms it is 20kms less to do. So our number is growing, with word is getting out, I have no doubt we will achieve our goal, our target of €10,000 we would hope to surpass this but achieving this would be no mean feat. That is why we need exposure for people to donate through our GoFundMe page.”

Peter discussed the impact of the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions on cycling. He said, “The cycling conditions improved with the lifting of the restrictions to a 5km radius from your home. It can give you good mileage going in loop’s which we would not be used too. Depending on the time available to different members some would do 20km loop 2 to 3 times a day, you just feel you are going around in circles.”

In order to complete the challenge, Peter said, “Some members commute by bike to work, there and back which would give you 70kms a day if required, once the weather permits. We need 3,500kms per week in total again the weather could play a part and if the restrictions are reinstated…that will be another challenge for us to get over, we have a plan B for that. Plan B is Indoor Cycling on a TURBO Trainer and that is where most of us were during the lockdown as we could not venture far.” ACC Around the World

So help out these local charities and start cycling! ACC Around the World

About the charities:

The Brothers of Charity

At the Brothers of Charity Services, Abbeyfeale, Newcastle West and Feohanagh, we provide day and residential services for adults with an intellectual disability in West Limerick. We currently provide services for 74 people and their families. 

In order to ensure a quality service, we rely on the generosity of the local community in relation to our fundraising throughout the year. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 restrictions we have had to close our Day Services since mid-March with our people having to stay at home. 

Rathfredagh Chesire Home

Rathfredagh Chesire Home is an excellent community based residential centre for people with both physical and neurological conditions. This charity relies on its annual harvest fair in July of every year to fundraise but unfortunately, this will not happen this year leaving them with a shortfall of approximately €50k. 

St. Ita’s Day Care Centre

St. Ita’s Day Care Centre consists of 23 residential homes for elderly and vulnerable adults. The centre supports the residents in a community setting. The Day Care centre also operated two open days, where up to 60 people from our local community could have lunch and enjoy the centre’s activities. Due to Covid-19 social distancing restrictions, the Day Care Centre has been forced to close its open days.St. Itas Day Care Centre was also dealt a cruel financial blow as the eagerly anticipated “Abbeyfeale Night at The OsKaRs” was postponed due to Covid-19, along with many other of their fundraising initiatives.

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.