Stuart’s 1,000km challenge for National Council of the Blind
Stuart with his daughter Chloe

Stuart’s 1,000km challenge for National Council of the Blind

A TALLAGHT man is taking on the tough challenge of walking 1,000km on a virtual fundraising walk to raise money for The National Council for the Blind of Ireland, a charity that is close to his heart.

Stuart McSweeney is currently on week three of his six week walking journey, having already clocked an incredible 600km and raised over €1,900 for the charity.

The fundraiser was inspired by Stuart’s 19-year-old daughter Chloe, who is visually impaired.

“I am walking mainly around the Tallaght and Clondalkin areas, and I am doing a virtual walk from Cork to Belfast and back, which is one end of the country to the other and it is 1,000km,” Stuart told The Echo.

“I decided this year that I wanted to fundraise for a charity that is close to my heart. The NCBI are a fantastic organisation, and they work with visually impaired and blind people throughout Ireland.

“My daughter has a visual impairment and the NCBI have been very supportive over the years, particularly around her education and making sure she has all the tools she needs to go to mainstream school.

“Chloe is 19 now and she is going to college which is great. Now that she is finished school, I thought it was time to give back to the charity.”

To complete the 1,000km in six weeks, Stuart is walking 26km a day, which is on average 35,000 steps a day. Beginning on February 1, Stuart says it has been challenging balancing the walking with his full-time job.

“I have to be very disciplined in my routine every day,” he explained. “Between balancing work life and getting out and doing a walk – it is not something that you would sustain every single day, but I am doing it every day at the moment for six weeks.

“I have found it good so far, the weather last week was very challenging because there was two storms and I ended up walking at around 10 o’clock at night because the weather conditions were better at that hour.”

Setting an initial target of €500 to raise through a GoFundMe page, Stuart says the support and donations from people so far has been fantastic.

“I have never done a GoFundMe, this was my first one and I am currently on €1,900, which has just blown me away to be honest,” said Stuart. “I will probably get a little bit fitter and lose weight but that is not the motivation for it – it is all for the charity.”

If you wish to donate to Stuart’s fundraiser for NCBI or follow his journey, you can check out his GoFundMe.

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