A Ballybofey man has raised a whopping €1,750 for his local Jigsaw services through a lot of non-stop running.
For Malcolm Houston in January 2022, it started as a way to mark his 50th birthday.
Then it took a life of its own and grew into a full-on challenge to raise funds and awareness for Jigsaw.
Jim McLaughlin joined Malcolm along the way, and with the help of the Finn Valley AC Fit 4 Life group coach Brendan Patton, a training plan was put in place.
The challenge was to run 50km by running 1km at 1 am, 2km at 2 am, 3km at 3 am, 4km at 4 am, 5km at 5 am, 6km at 6 am, 7km at 7 am, 8km at 8 am and 9km at 9 am, finishing with an extra 5km. The runs were completed at the Finn Valley Centre and around the Ballybofey and Stranorlar areas.
Over the past few months, Malcolm & Jim have been completing the various distances early in the mornings around Ballybofey.
Unfortunately, Malcolm had a nasty Covid infection, and Jim suffered an injury whilst mountain climbing, setting training for both back a few weeks of training.
But rather than give up, Malcolm called out to members of the Fit 4 Life group, a group that he regularly runs with for support seeking runners to run through the night in the different stages and step in a cover the distances should the need arise.
The call was duly answered, with over 20 runners turning out through the night to run. The total run by all was around 300km.
An initial fundraising target of €500 was set, but this far exceeded expectations, and Malcolm raised €1,750.
The Jigsaw service provides a safe and confidential space where young people can access a wide range of mental health supports for free.
The group works with young people aged 15-25. Jigsaw’s main aim is to enable young people to access the most appropriate services in as seamless a way as possible, whatever their level of need.
The Jigsaw Programme was designed by Headstrong and its panel of youth advisors and is an evidence-based, integrated service designed to strengthen a community’s capacity to support young people’s mental health. It works on a partnership model of pulling together and aligning all existing resources and expertise in any given community.