Charlie Bird to lead Hand of Friendship walk in aid of Samaritans

Bird said he will continue to raise awareness for charities while he can
Charlie Bird to lead Hand of Friendship walk in aid of Samaritans

Muireann Duffy

Former RTÉ broadcaster Charlie Bird will lead a walk in aid of Samaritans through Avondale Forest Park in Co Wicklow on Sunday.

The 5km Hand of Friendship walk will get underway at 11am, with other groups also walking in Roscommon's Lough Key Forest Park, Curraghbinny Wood's in Cork and at Ard na Gaoithe on the Galway/Mayo border.

Bird was diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease in 2022. Following his diagnosis, he launched the hugely successful 'Climb For Charlie' campaign, which saw him summit Croagh Patrick to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta.

Posting on Twitter, he wrote: "I have promised while I can I am going to continue helping to raise awareness and extend the hand of friendship."

The tweet, which included a video of himself and his dog Tiger, added: "Pieta are close to my heart, but I also want to raise awareness for Samaritan volunteers all over the country as well. Yes I am struggling but I am not giving up."

The walks on Sunday will also see a commemorative tree planted at each of the locations and a special message from Bird will be played.

Samaritans Ireland's assistant director Mark Kennedy thanked Bird and his wife Claire for their support with the fundraiser.

"It would be great if people could come out and mark the end of the Easter break this Sunday and join Charlie in Avondale, Co Wicklow, or support Samaritans walking in Cork, Galway and Roscommon," he added.

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