Arthritis Ireland is encouraging people to raise funds by running, jogging, walking or cycling 30km over the 30 days of June to support people living with arthritis.

The 30 in 30 challenge will help raise vital funds to enable the charity deliver services to people with arthritis.

Nearly one million people are living with the condition in Ireland, including 1,200 children. Many of those with arthritis have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, due to being immunosuppressed or aged over 70.

Grainne OLearyAccording to Arthritis Ireland chief executive, Gráinne O’Leary, “We’re working incredibly hard to meet the needs of people with arthritis at this challenging time. Our self-management classes and exercise programmes are now online, and we’re developing further initiatives to support people where they’re at. Our helpline and online fora have been valuable sources of trusted information for people.”

Fundraising income at the charity has been “significantly impacted” by the pandemic, said O’Leary. “The extraordinary generosity of the public enables us deliver services for people with arthritis all over the country. We’ve had to cancel or postpone our scheduled fundraising activity, so 30 in 30 is a safe, healthy and fun way to support our work at this challenging time.”

Participants can choose to walk, run or cycle 30km in 30 days this June. You can choose to do 1km a day, break it into bigger chunks, or take on the full 30km in one go.

“This is an entirely flexible challenge that will suit people of all fitness levels. Take part in your own time, anywhere across the country, near your home or in your local park. Our only ask is to make sure to do it safely and in line with the latest government advice,” added O’Leary. 

Kaitlin Fenelon from Laois is one of those taking part in 30 in 30. Kaitlin says that after she was diagnosed with arthritis, she was “very confused”.

“I didn’t know how to handle my pain, and it had a huge impact on my mental health,” she said. “I attended a self-management course organised by Arthritis Ireland and can’t describe how much it helped me. I want to fundraise so that they have the resources to organise more courses and help more people that are as confused as I was.”

To find out more and to register for 30 in 30 visit the Arthritis Ireland website