We wish to thank families, communities and businesses for taking #StepsForChange
In its second year running, the 300,000 Steps Challenge for Cope Foundation was a great success for the Cork-based organisation. The fundraising campaign saw 1,720 people from Cork city, county and beyond take part. The Challenge was to complete 300,000 Steps in the 28 days of February, all while raising much-needed funds for Cope Foundation. By each person completing the Challenge, a total of 516,000,000 steps were completed in the month of February. That’s the equivalent of travelling back and forth from Cork to New Zealand 11 times! The competition to get the daily step count between the various Teams was fierce, with one group of 10 school friends committing to reach 3 million steps collectively in the month.
EY proudly supported this year's initiative and EY staff teams across Munster tracked their daily steps and fundraised online for Cope Foundation. The campaign was led out by Sarah, who is supported by the organisation and is an advocate for people with disabilities. Throughout the campaign, we followed Sarah's progress and she even had a Zoom call with Irish former rugby union player Tomás O'Leary to motivate and support the 300,000 Steps participants. Sarah says, "I did very well in the 300,000 Steps Challenge, I had more steps than what was needed in the end and it was great fun!"
Companies, schools, GAA Clubs, people supported by Cope Foundation, Cope Foundation staff and individuals took part in the challenge while adhering to the 5KM travel limit under current Level 5 restrictions. Some ran by their local beach, while others walked the length and breadth of their kitchens to clock up over 10,000 steps a day. The campaign offered people a great way to stay active and get moving throughout February, which is especially important now that most of us are spending our days in front of a screen.
The campaign's enthusiasm and energy were more significant than ever before, with people from Cork to Galway to Canada clocking up their daily 10,000 steps. The organisation wishes to thank everyone for their efforts and has awarded some of its Top Fundraisers with exclusive 300,000 Steps medals and plaques to mark their achievements.
Sean Abbott, Chief Executive at Cope Foundation, says, "We are delighted with the success of this year's 300,000 Steps Challenge. Cope Foundation is one of the largest providers of services and supports to people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism in Ireland. We are committed to delivering person-centred services and supports to people right across Cork city and county and empowering people we support to live their lives. We were delighted to work with EY's team as part of our 300,000 Steps Challenge. They share our vision of inclusion and building a better world and workplace by maximising the power of all differences".
Ivan O'Brien, EY Consulting Partner and Head of Risk and Mental Health Advocate, added, “At EY we recognise that charities like Cope Foundation have been hit hard by COVID and need our support more than ever, so we were delighted to support the #StepsForChange initiative. Movement and exercise are so important to our mental health and wellbeing and can really help to lift spirits as each of us face our own unique set of challenges in the midst of a pandemic."
All funds raised will go towards projects and programmes that empower and support people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism across Cork city and county.