Raymond McMaster (73) and his son Alexander McMaster (16) from Dunfanaghy will walk 190 miles through the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales in England to raise £10,000 for Oxfam Ireland.
The pair will complete the scenic walking route called Wainwright Way, which extends from St. Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay, from July 5 to 17.
Raymond and Alex have raised a great deal of money for a variety charities over the years but this is the largest single total they have ever attempted to raise and also the most ambitious physical challenge they have attempted while fundraising for a charity.
This Saturday, May 7, a fundraising day will be held at Letterkenny Shopping Centre where there will be bucket collections by children from local schools, entertainment from local musicians and lots of information about the big challenge.
Raymond was over 50 years ago but broke his back in a rugby accident. He has long since recovered from the accident and he has been training for this endeavour by walking approximately 10 miles every day.
They have chosen their route, known as Wainwright’s Way, to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales while Raymond is still young and fit enough to share the experience with his son Alexander. Wainwright’s Way was first described in the idiosyncratic guidebooks penned by Alfred Wainwright in the middle of the last Century.
The monies they raise will go towards Oxfam’s projects aimed at educating disadvantaged children and helping orphans and vulnerable children.
Alexander explains how they got the idea to undertake this ambitious challenge.
“I originally intended to raise money for a charity over Christmas by playing Christmas carols on my violin at a local market. Unfortunately, I was unable to do this but I still continued to think of how I could raise a bit of money.
“It was my dad who eventually came up with the idea. He remembered a walk an old friend of his had always intended to do but was now too elderly to complete. I agreed almost immediately and we began planning our journey that day.
“The first thing we had to think about was the charity for which we were going to raise the money. I already had Oxfam in mind as Oxfam Ireland has a very impressive delivering essential necessities such as food, water, clothing and shelter to those who are really in need.” Oxfam’s ongoing overseas programme work also includes supporting projects that increase agricultural production in sustainable ways, addressing the consequences of climate change, strengthening access to markets for small scale producers, especially women and working with people affected by HIV and AIDS. If you won’t be in Letterkenny on Saturday and would like to support Raymond and Alex’s fundraising effort, visit www.justgiving.com/Alexander-McMaster.