Two Hearts, Four Feet – Just A Little Run Around Ireland

Two Hearts, Four Feet – Just A Little Run Around Ireland

Here he goes again!

In March 2016, one of Ecologia’s locally-based supporters, Simon Clark, set off on an incredible journey to run 5,000+ miles around the coastline of mainland Britain in a bid to raise money for the work we do. 15 months later, he returned, having raised almost £26,000, well over twice his initial target!

Now, just over a year since his homecoming, he’s off again! Missing the freedom of the road and spurred on by the achievement of his first 5,000 miles, Simon will soon set off to add another 2,000 to his belt by running the coastline of Ireland. In the process, he’s hoping to raise even more money to support and empower the children and young people at our projects across the world.

From the very start of Simon’s first run, his efforts inspired many people across the UK and further afield. Over 300 messages came to us congratulating and wishing him luck; many donated; others  became child-sponsors; and some even took up running regularly again – including Rachel Winter, Ecologia’s Office Manager and Volunteers Coordinator, who was responsible for coordinating our support for Simon during his run around Britain.

Since that time, Rachel has completed several 10k races and two half marathons. This summer, she will take on her biggest running challenge yet, by joining Simon to run with him the entire way. The pair set off for Ireland on the 1st August and plan to be back in time for Christmas. You can keep up to date with their progress and track their route on the 2 Hearts, 4 Feet page.

The Send Off

To mark their departure and kick-start the fundraising, Simon and Rachel held an ‘Open-Mike’ night on the theme of Freedom on 31st July, in our local Phoenix café.

The next day, at 1pm, friends and Ecologia supporters cheered them off as they leave from our base in Findhorn. Relying on the kindness of strangers, Simon and Rachel will hitch to Stranraer to catch a ferry over to Northern Ireland in time to celebrate Rachel’s father’s 70th birthday bash on Aug 4th. They will then make their way down to Dublin where they officially start their big run on Aug 7th. If you live in the Dublin area, please do come along to the O’Connell Bridge at 1pm to make sure they leave in style!

A Call for Support

Simon and Rachel will be running – as Simon did before – with no support team and only bivvy bags for shelter. If you know of friends or family along the Irish coast, who might be willing to help spread word about what they are doing, come and cheer them off from Dublin, or even offer them a barn/floor/sofa/bed to sleep in, please do get in touch at info@ecologia.org.uk. Or encourage them onwards by supporting our work to provide education, care, and much more to the young people at our projects in Kenya, Uganda, Russia, and Scotland. Please donate today and share the link to our fundraising page – every donation makes a difference to the children’s lives, and every penny acts like another drop of fuel for the two runners. Thank you!

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Picture courtesy of Northern Scot

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susie Kemp

Susie has 30+ experience as a creative copywriter, editor, and proofreader, starting out as a 20-year-old copywriter in the Mad Men world of early 1990s advertising in South Africa. Ever since, she’s had a love affair with creative conceptualisation, thinking outside of the box, writing to a deadline, and being thrown in the deep end!

She took an MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University as a mature student, in 2015, and continues to keep herself busy working as a copy-editor, proofreader and copywriter in book publishing, corporate communications, and publishing project management.

Apart from her love of working with independent authors, Susie has a fondness for working in the third sector and likes to use her corporate communications and marketing experience to support projects close to her heart. She has lived and worked in the Findhorn area for 25 years, and has been involved in a number of third sector projects and organisations, and family businesses.

Working at Ecologia Youth Trust helps Susie to live in integrity with her values of supporting the next generation to be the best that they can be, and she sees it as a way to give back to Mama Africa, the beloved continent on which she was born.

Ellen Shaw

Ellen joined the Ecologia team in June 2018 as Marketing and Communications Manager. Ellen has lived in Scotland for 6 years and has worked for non-profit and charitable organisations across varied fields. She currently shares her passion for helping young people through Ecologia Youth Trust and she works as a dancer and dance teacher in her spare time.

Robyn Cooper

Robyn is the Associate Director of International Projects, having previously worked within the team as a Project Development and Marketing Officer from April 2019 until May 2021. As Associate Director, Robyn is co-leading the International side of Ecologia with Founder and Director, Liza Hollingshead, bringing a new energy into Ecologia as they look towards the future of the charity.

Liza Hollingshead

Liza is the founder of Ecologia and Director of International Projects. She was born and educated in South Africa and worked there as a high school teacher. She moved to live in the Findhorn Community in 1974. She started Ecologia in 1995 after being introduced to Dmitry Morozov, the founder of Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia, and was inspired to support the community in its mission to rescue orphaned children from institutions and give them homes, families and education in a supportive environment.

This led to projects supporting disadvantaged youth and children in South East Asia and in East Africa. TRead more about Liza’s story here.