Castlederg couple to mark Golden anniversary by walking 200 miles for charity

A CASTLEDERG couple who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at the end of July are planning to walk an extraordinary 200 miles next month to raise money for two charities close to their hearts.

James Roulston and his wife Barbara, from Hawthorn Park, will put on their walking shoes every day during the month of June to generate funds for the mental health charity AWARE NI and Cancer Research.

Avid walkers and keen to make a difference in their local community, Mr Roulston said it makes sense to use their hobby to raise much-needed funds for two charities that have suffered from the effects of Covid-19's lockdown.

"These two charities are close to our heart, we know people who have been affected by both causes," Mr Roulston, who will be celebrating his 77th birthday in August.

"There is very little happening for either charity at the moment. In Castlederg, there is very little at all for mental health. We have friends affected and it feels like they have nowhere to turn to. We would love to help."

Sadly, Mr Roulston lost his brother Norman to throat cancer in 2008, and he wants to split the donations with Cancer Research.

Like many, Mr Roulston, a retired contractor, and his wife have found comfort in the great outdoors throughout the pandemic.

"My wife and I walk a lot, we would walk around nine miles Friday," he said.

"Some days we go out for a seven-mile walk. I love walking. It's great for your mental health, by getting out in the fresh air and talk to people."

He admits it will be a tough challenge but stresses: "we'll get through it".

"Barbara wants to walk every step with me for the charity event," he added.

"We are determined to do it. We will be aiming for seven miles a day. Other days we will walk more and other days less."

If you would like to donate to the cause, you can find a sponsorship sheet at any of the three pharmacies in Castlederg

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