'We are 100% reliant on public generosity': Walk or cycle Camino in aid of air ambulance

'We are 100% reliant on public generosity': Walk or cycle Camino in aid of air ambulance

Pictured at the Irish Community Air Ambulance base in Rathcoole, Cork are Key Relationships Managers, Karen O'Sullivan and Lorraine Toner; Advanced Paramedic Paul Traynor; CEO Micheal Sheridan; Advanced Paramedic James Ward and Chief Pilot Donnagh Verling. Pic: Brian Lougheed

THE Irish Community Air Ambulance has launched its first overseas event and is calling on supporters to bike or hike The Portuguese Camino to raise vital funds.

The trip is due to take place from April 23 to 30 next year and the organisation is hoping to raise €50,000. Participants on The Portuguese Camino will have the option of choosing a 338km cycle or completing a walk of approximately 100km.

Each group will be accompanied by a tour guide and a representative from ICAA.

The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) is Ireland’s only charity-funded Air Ambulance. It is on track to complete more than 500 taskings this year. Each mission costs an average of €3,500, all of which has to be raised or donated.

CEO of the ICAA, Micheál Sheridan said two people whose lives have been touched by the service have already signed up. “Our aim is to bring hope to people when they need it most, ensuring that they can get to the hospital that best suits their life saving needs as quickly as possible.”

Each participant is asked to raise a minimum of €2,250 which includes return flights, transfers, seven days accommodation as well as breakfast and dinner each day.

Key Relationships Manager with the ICAA, Lorraine Toner says it promises to be a wonderful event: “You don’t need to have any previous experience hiking or biking, there is plenty of time for participants to start walking or cycling ahead of the trip in April.

We are 100% reliant on the generosity of the public so it would be amazing to travel the Camino with a group of supporters.”

The walking group will begin in Oia and walk to Santiago de Compostela along the coast around to the Vigo estuary.

The cycling group will begin their route from Aveiro in Portugal, following the road less travelled to Santiago de Compostela.

For more information or to sign up, email lorraine@communityairambulance.ie

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