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Help us keep caring through COVID this Christmas

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Get Active

If you enjoy physical activity then you can support our COVID-19 Recovery Service through our ‘Get Active’ challenge and walk 335,000 steps in a month.

There are currently 342,203 people living with chest, heart and stroke conditions in Northern Ireland and these people are more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. With your help, we can provide a vital service that will help these and any other people who recover from the virus with ongoing care and support as they recuperate.

31 days; your way!

Step up to the Get Active Challenge and pledge to walk 335,000 steps in a month.

To complete your challenge more easily, you can break your steps down into daily slots of 11,039 per day. Alternatively, you could share the load with family, friends or work colleagues and divide the amount of steps between you so you each do a portion to complete the challenge. The choice is yours …

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Each step you take will represent a person currently living with a chest, heart and stroke condition in Northern Ireland. Thank you for your support.

Looking for a way to track and count your steps? Check out the Good Housekeeping article for the top 10 pedometers!

Do it your own way!

Calling all runners, cyclists, swimmers and skippers! You can still take on our Challenge 335 – Get Active by choosing your preferred activity and completing 335km, lengths or skips.

Whatever way you decide to complete your challenge you’ll be helping us to support local people on the road to recovery from COVID-19.

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Meet Damien Hillen

Damien’s life was changed forever in April 2019 when he underwent major heart surgery. With a slow recovery, the UEFA-licensed football coach, GAA mentor and fitness fan found it difficult to walk up the stairs in his house when he first returned from hospital.

When COVID-19 arrived, Damien knew he would have to potentially self-isolate until a vaccine was found. Facing months of shielding at home, he needed something to occupy his time and that’s when he created the Saval Everest Challenge.

Damien worked out that it takes 116,096 steps to reach the summit and then descend Everest, so he decided to complete the distance using the five steps in his back garden.

Damien managed 2,500 steps per day and achieved his target of 116,096 over 31 days. The Saval community was so inspired by Damien that 350 people then joined the challenge and, as a collective, walked more than 40,000km – enough to circumnavigate the globe!

Damien ultimately raised over £12,000 and said the challenge was the best thing he has ever done.

Damien’s top tips for your Challenge 335  - Get Active:

    • Everything’s better with company so, if you can, get a partner to take part with you. This will help with motivation, especially in bad weather!
    • Break the challenge down into small, manageable chunks and goals.
    • Try to do something each day.
    • If you’re doing the challenge on your own, listening to podcasts or music will help to keep you going as you work out.
    • If things get tough, remember: it’s called a challenge for a reason!
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