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Ballymena couple to take on Giant’s Causeway Challenge for NSPCC

Allan and Marianne Darragh

A BALLYMENA woman and her husband are preparing to trek a marathon distance in aid of NSPCC Northern Ireland.

Marianne Darragh, from Ballymena, who works as a Children’s Services Practitioner at NSPCC's Belfast Service Centre, has registered alongside her husband Allan to complete the Giant’s Causeway Challenge in July to help raise vital funds for the children’s charity.

Funds are much needed as the NSPCC continues to be here for children and young people throughout this very difficult year. Latest Childline data revealed there have been over 1,100 counselling sessions with children from Northern Ireland about mental or emotional health since April last year.

Marianne and Allan have spent months training for the event, which takes place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, at idyllic beauty spots throughout Northern Ireland such as Belfast’s Cavehill, Slemish mountain and Fair Head amongst others.

Marianne said:

“Allan and I are so excited to take part in the Giant's Causeway Challenge in July. To get us ready for the event, we have been spending our weekends and free time training by walking and hiking at locations all over Northern Ireland such as Cavehill, Slemish, Ronan’s Way, Fair Head, Murlough Bay and Roe Valley Country Park and Binevanagh which has really helped improve our fitness which we have really enjoyed.

"We cannot wait to trek a marathon distance along the stunning Causeway Coast and take in all the breathtaking views while raising much-needed funds for the NSPCC."

Lauren Howard, Corporate Fundraising Executive at NSPCC Northern Ireland, said:

“We are so pleased Marianne and Allan are taking part in the Giant's Causeway Challenge in July. It is fantastic to see they have been busy training for the event to help raise money.

"Participants will start near the iconic Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and finish in Bushmills, which will take trekkers through the entirety of the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site where they will witness the stunning views this spectacular area has to offer.

“For anyone interested in taking part in the challenge, there will be support every step of the way. Think world-class training tips, tailored to you. Kit you can wear with pride. And all the support you need to make fundraising a breeze. No child should be left to cope alone. With your help, we can be here for every child.

“We wish Marianne and Allan the best of luck as they get ready to embark on this challenge and thank them for all the hard work and training they have put in so far!”

Individuals taking part in the Giant's Causeway Challenge can choose from either trek only which is £50 registration fee plus a £240 fundraising ask or trek and accommodation which costs £75 registration fee plus a £450 fundraising target.

Those taking part in the challenge must follow the latest government guidelines in their area to keep safe while walking for children.

To help support Marianne and Allan’s fundraising efforts, donate here:


For more information and to take part in the challenge, visit here:


or email lauren.howard@nspcc.org.uk