Charity pays tribute to locals who helped them help others

LOCAL charity Links2pink has paid warm tribute to the big-hearted fundraisers who have helped them continue to offer vital support to Antrim families during the pandemic.

COVID-19 has posed huge problems for charities - but local people, many of whom have benefited from their tireless care, rallied around to return the favour.

“As a small local charity we were genuinely concerned about how we would manage during lockdown,” said Gayle Carson.

“Not being able to hold events, where our main income comes from, left us in a very concerning position and we thought we might struggle to continue helping families when they needed it most.

“Then the wonderful people within our community came forward and offered to raise funds on our behalf.”

Take Emma McCrea, for example. She ran a Christmas and Spring raffle of her beautiful door wreaths from her business Dec the Door. Her best friend Tracy Henry was very much in her thoughts as she raised funds as Tracy was going through treatment for Breast Cancer during this time.

Sharon Brady took on a 100-mile walking challenge during February - the wettest month of the year so far - and smashed her miles and total raised by actually walking 150 miles. An incredible feat.

Elaine Williams, another ‘good friend’ of the charity, decided she would like to run an online Bounceathon event in June 2020, and had friends in their homes around the country bouncing on small trampolines in their living room, in fancy dress!

Leanne Hamill held an amazing event in memory of her beautiful daughter Ava. Sadly Ava passed away in 2019 due to a very rare form of childhood cancer and in memory of Ava Leanne asked for donations on what would have been Ava’s ninth birthday as a way of remembering the wonderful little girl that Ava was.

Jim Cosgrove and Lisa Hannah held an open day at Stoneworks Health and Well-being Centre in September with a BBQ and opportunities for people to hear about Links2pink and all the plans Stoneworks has for young people and anyone wishing to improve health and well-being.

Oran Mcauley, from Oran Mcauley Insurance Services, grew a full beard and moustache during November as part of the Movember campaign but chose Links2pink as he loves that funds are used locally.

“These are such amazing people who together have raised essential funds and allowed us to help so many families in the community who have suffered so much during this year to illness,” said Gayle.

“The funds also allowed us to supply food and essential supplies to the local food bank to ensure people who could not get to shops were able cope during the initial and very unsettling lockdown period.

“We want to say an absolutely massive thank you to these wonderful people and everyone who has made donations to our work supporting us during the toughest of times and we very much look forward to a brighter future and a return to the running of events in our community.

“Links2pink will be in operation for 10 years in 2022 and we plan to celebrate in style!

“And of course we are always open to others taking up challenges and raising funds.”

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