A LONDON IRISHMAN has walked over 60 miles from London to Brighton in less than 24 hours – all to raise money for the Irish in Britain.
Tom Conniffe, 45, trekked from Trafalgar Square in the heart of London to Brighton Pier on Saturday – a trek of 100km or 62.5 miles.
Tom, who lives in Finsbury Park, has so far raised over £6,000 for the Aisling Project, which provides support for Irish people in Britain who are vulnerable, isolated and alone.
The Aisling Project also provides holidays in Ireland for Irish people who haven’t seen Ireland for a considerable amount of time – fulfilling what is for many a dream of seeing their homeland again.
Part of the money Tom has raised from his ‘Capital to Coast’ trek has also gone to the charities Mind and Dementia UK, as Tom has two family members who suffer from dementia.
“The Aisling Project reaches out to Irish people in Britain who are vulnerable, isolated and alone, helping them in many cases to visit Ireland once again. I am proud to be from the Irish community and to raise funds for such an important cause,” he said.
“Two members of my family live with dementia and the effects can be devastating for wider family and friends too. Dementia UK provides Admiral Nurses to help them all to live as independently as possible.”
“One in four of us suffer poor mental health in the course of each year and Mind provides much-needed support,” he added.
“So all three causes have a huge personal resonance with me and members of our community and I wanted to do my bit.”
Mr Conniffe has raised over £17,000 since 2013 through a number of charity challenges, including walking the 101 miles from Eastbourne to Winchester along the south coast of England in 2015.
But the 45-year-old says that travelling by foot from London to Brighton in just one day was one of his most difficult challenges yet.
“Without doubt it was one of the hardest things I've ever done,” he said. “I'm beyond tired but it was all worth it. I’m so proud to have done this for three such important causes.”
Anyone wishing to sponsor Tom’s charity challenges can do so online here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/tomscharitychallenge