Staff at Donegal special school put best forward in efforts to raise money for much-needed equipment

Staff undertake epic 4,500km challenge

Staff at Donegal special school put best forward in efforts to raise money for much-needed equipment

Teachers, management and staff at St. Bernadette's Special School, Letterkenny are taking on a 500km virtual challenge this summer to raise much-needed funds for the school.

The Wild Atlantic 500K Virtual Challenge kicked off earlier this week and will finish on August 31. Each participant should complete 500km within a three-month period, which works out at approximately 5.2km per day.

Michelle Shields is one of the eight teachers and SNA staff taking part in the summer challenge and she says it’s a great opportunity to stay fit and healthy while also raising funds for the school. 

She said: "We spotted the Wild Atlantic 500K Virtual Challenge a few weeks back and thought it would be great personal fitness journey to get involved with. After a few group-chat discussions, we decided to try and raise funds for the school too for our efforts. The event encourages people to discover Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way and our school welcomes students from all over the county, from Inishowen, Mount Charles and Ballintra to Milford, St. Johnston, Letterenny and Gweedore, so it’s the perfect fit for us.

"We’re looking forward to a summer filled with long evening walks and hikes and on behalf of the school and other participants."

She thanked all those who have supported them to date adding that should anyone like to make a small donation to get in touch with the school or participants or their gofundme page.

Principal of St. Bernadette’s Special School, John Haran, said: “Huge well done to the teaching staff and SNA’s of the school for taking part in this event. Reaching 500km in three months is no easy task, but it’s brilliant that they’re shining a light on positive mental health and keeping active during these uncertain times. The school has done some great work over the last year with two new classrooms due to open for the next term so the funds raised from the 500km virtual challenge will go towards new equipment for the students to enjoy both indoors and outdoors. I wish my colleagues the best of luck and look forward to hearing updates throughout the next twelve weeks, where we’ll be rooting them on.”

The teachers and SNA’s taking part in the Wild Atlantic 500km Virtual Challenge on behalf of St. Bernadette’s Special School include Aisling McMullan, Tina Gallagher, Roseanne McGinley, Ann McGinley, Fiona McFadden, Michelle Shields, Patricia Deeney and Danielle McNamee.

Based in Letterkenny on the College Farm road, St. Bernadette’s is a co-educational day school for children with mild learning disabilities. The teaching staff work with children aged 4 to 18 who have a variety of special educational needs. In additional to school staff, St. Bernadette’s also prides themselves on inviting essential external therapists and sports coaches to ensure children have an excellent school experience.

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