An adventurous charity bid to row around the island of Ireland to raise awareness and funds for Cystic Fibrosis is now officially on the home straight, with support continuing to flood in from all parts of the country.
‘Row-A-Round Ireland’ set off from Bray, Co. Wicklow, two months ago and the team stopped off in Lahinch, Co. Clare, last Saturday evening – officially the halfway point of a gruelling voyage of some 1000 nautical miles.
We’ve been providing our PR services to the hardy band of rowers since they set off back in May, helping them to spread the word along the coast – and beyond – and it’s been incredibly uplifting how the public has taken the challenge to its collective heart.
In a further boost to the project, Lyons Tea has come on board as a sponsor of the round-Ireland challenge.
While private donations are the backbone of any CSR initiative – the result of a good cause, an eye-catching idea and an engaging communications strategy – the addition of a big corporate sponsor, in this case one of Ireland’s best-known and best-loved brands, can make a huge difference.
Not only will Lyons Tea help the team edge towards its fund-raising target, the support of such an iconic brand name also provides a massive lift in terms of morale – and publicity.
“When we first heard about Row A-Round Ireland we just felt it was a really brave, adventurous and uplifting idea,” said Nick Johnson, Managing Director of Unilever Ireland. “Per capita, more people are affected by Cystic Fibrosis in Ireland than any other country in the world, so it’s a great cause first and foremost.
“Lyons Tea is also a perfect fit with the Row A-Round Ireland initiative, because there’s such a strong social element to the challenge,” Nick added. “The team is getting a great welcome right around the coast and people want to know all about what they’re doing – as Lyons ‘puts the talk into tea’, it’s fitting that our brand is at the heart of those conversations.”
Expect those conversations to grow louder as the team pulls back around towards Bray. After several warming cups of you-know-what, they are now back in the water and heading further south towards the stunning Kerry coastline.
We’ll continue to spread the word. Already the project has featured on high-profile national print and broadcast media and with the team reaching out to local maritime communities at each stop-off point, there’s no doubt that Row A-Round Ireland is making its mark.
“It’s going great and we couldn’t be happier,” said Ger Crowley, founder of the project (and builder of the 15ft skiff in which the team is undertaking the voyage). “Tired limbs, aching bodies, some very tough weather conditions but smiles all round, especially now that we’ve made it past the halfway point.
“Having a brand like Lyons Tea come on board was just brilliant, and the support we’ve been given around the coast of Ireland has kept us going really," Ger added. "I want to thank each and every person who’s welcomed us onto dry land, and everyone who has put their hands in their pockets to support us.”
Continued support is vital. The team is pushing towards an ambitious fund-raising target of €100,000 and as the saying goes, every little helps.
Keep going guys! You’re doing a brilliant job.