The public is being asked to don their walking shoes and take part in an epic fundraiser challenge to support the Cope Foundation.
The charity, which supports 2,500 people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism in Cork, has launched a new fundraising drive that will see participants scale mountain peaks without having to break public health restrictions.
The 'Five Peaks One Week' challenge will see teams of people scaling some of the country’s tallest mountains by simply walking close to their home, and making good use of their stairs.
The five mountains being targeted are the highest in Munster.
They include Carrauntoohil in Kerry, Galtymore in Limerick and Tipperary, Knockmealdown in Waterford, Moylussa in Clare, and Knockboy in Cork.
For example, to 'climb' 1,040 metre high Carrauntoohil, participants will have to walk twelve kilometres and climb the 300 flights of stairs.
Cope Foundation has worked with Cork-based Mountaineering and Climbing Guide, John Healy to develop the fundraising challenge.
"I’m delighted to be able to support the Five Peaks One Week challenge for Cope Foundation," Mr Healy, the principal guide at Simply Mountains said.
"Munster is a paradise for hill walking, and this is a fantastic opportunity to shine a light on some of the mountains that surround us.
"Participants might not be physically getting on to the mountains, but they will have a great sense of achievement knowing they’ve 'virtually' scaled the five highest peaks in Munster.
"We’ve been in our homes for so long, and it’s never been more important to get out and get active safely together and experience all the beauty that outdoors has to offer," he continued.
Sean Abbott, Chief Executive of Cope Foundation spoke about the impact of Covid-19 on the charity's scheduled fundraising events.
"Unfortunately, we are experiencing a significant loss of fundraising income as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
"Our calendar of fundraising events and campaigns has been curtailed, and we find ourselves in a situation where we have to think on our feet and try new ways of fundraising," he said.
"This 'virtual challenge' is fun for people, and it’s a novel way to stay active and healthy with friends, family or colleagues while apart and staying at home.
"This challenge is a fun way to keep fit while ensuring that you have ready access to a comfortable chair and the comforts of home after you climb a virtual mountain for Cope," he continued.
The Five Peaks One Week challenge has to be completed by a team and within one week, starting any time in June. Amongst those who have committed to the campaign already are several AIB’s Sports and Social Clubs from Cork city and county.
Cope Foundation is asking people to keep within the 20km restriction of their home, pending the easing of restrictions on June 8, but to make those restricted journeys really count.
For more information on how to take part, visit https://www.cope-foundation.ie/