Newry woman tackles Everest

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Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
Community, What's On
Ciara Marley from Newry will soon take a ‘big step forward’ for Mencap when she embarks on a three-week trek to Mount Everest’s Base Camp, in aid of the charity’s Big Step Forward Appeal.

Ciara Marley trains for her three-week trek to Mount Everest’s Base Camp in aid of Mencap’s Big Step Forward Appeal

Mencap launched the appeal in October 2014 to raise £1.7million to build, equip and run a new Children and Families’ Centre. At the heart of the new centre will be Mencap’s relocated Segal House nursery for 2 to 4 year-olds with a learning disability, autism and developmental delay. Ciara’s 3-year-old niece Isla Marley has attended Segal House Nursery since January 2014. Everything that Isla has accomplished since then, along with the help of the Segal House staff, has inspired Ciara to raise money for Mencap’s Big Step Forward Appeal. “Isla has progressed beautifully since she started Segal House. Initially, Isla couldn’t walk but now she can take a few steps around the house and can clap her hands,” said Ciara Marley, who is now an A&E doctor in Belfast. “Segal House has been such a great help to Isla’s parents, my brother and sister-in-law. Segal House has shown them that there is support out there for children with a learning disability and their families. “They have enjoyed getting Isla into the Mencap family and they know Mencap is a charity she will be involved in for the rest of her life. Raising money for Mencap’s Big Step Forward is my way of saying thank you,” Ciara said. Vanessa Elder, the NI Fundraising Manager for Mencap, said she hopes Ciara’s trek inspires others to fundraise, “We are extremely grateful to Ciara for agreeing to take on such a ‘big step’ for Mencap’s current Appeal and wish her all the very best in conquering her trek! “We hope Ciara’s fundraising effort urges others to take on a challenge in aid of Mencap. Whether it’s the upcoming Belfast City Marathon or a 5K walk, every little bit will help us make our new Children and Families’ Centre a reality for Northern Ireland.” Those interested in donating to Ciara’s trek can donate at To donate to the Big Step Forward Appeal or for inspiration on fundraising ideas, visit
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