Jemma Grant, The Happy Little Hiker, Paul Quinn, TMQ Health and Fitness Studio and Niamh Quinn, Advocacy VSV, who have organised a team of hikers to complete a Five Peak Challenge this weekend.
AN ANNALONG charity is teaming up with a local gym and hiking blogger to raise funds for their service which supports survivors of sexual assault.
Advocacy VSV Voice of Hope is a wellness program which assists people who have been sexually assaulted as they navigate their way through the criminal justice system and heal from what’s happened to them.
Founder of VSV Niamh Quinn says the pandemic has prevented the charity from carrying out fundraisers this past year.
She added: “Like every charity, we’ve been hit badly and had a very tough year.
“There’s been little support from the government and very few options for fundraising.”
Thankfully, the work VSV does has not gone unnoticed. Paul Quinn from the local gym TMQ Health and Fitness Training Studio have decided to mark its fifth anniversary by organising a fundraiser and all earnings will be donated to the charity.
Niamh says: "Fundraising plays a vital role in a Charities existence and we are very grateful for the efforts of TMQ, The Happy little Hiker and the team of hikers who have agreed to take on this challenge."
The fundraiser will involve a team of hikers trekking five peaks in the Mourne Mountains. Ballymartin blogger Jemma Grant will also be involved.
Jemma runs the ‘Happy Little Hiker’ blog on Instagram where she shares scenic photos of the Mournes and encourages others to get out and explore nature.
Niamh is delighted VSV has been chosen as the charity needs the support now more than ever.
She says: “As the restrictions start to ease and people can see their friends and loved ones more often, they’ll have a chance to talk about things and we’ll likely see a rise in reports of sexual assault.
“It’s in those early stages we can be there for survivors and offer advice and support.”
Niamh says VSV guides people who come to them for help by being active listeners.
She adds: “Our clients tell us what their priorities are, and we take it from there.
“They often don’t believe things can get any better and we’re there to give them hope that they can.”
The charity takes both a soft and professional approach to their work and can even visit victims at home if that’s where they feel more comfortable.
Niamh says: “The criminal justice system can be very alienating and daunting.
“We work to provide our clients with confidence and guide them through each stage so they can be in control and choose what’s best for them.”
The Five Peak Challenge will take place this Saturday, 29 May. Those who’d like to get involved by joining TMQ and the Happy Little Hiker on their hike can find more information on VSV’s Facebook page.
If you’d simply like to donate you can find the team’s Go Fund Me Page at: https://gofund.me/9c32d27d
Niamh says: "Advocacy VSV offers support across the Southern Trust so people donating can be reassured money will be used to support people local to them.
"Every penny raised will be used to offer direct support to Victims Of Sexual Violence."