Family trio on track to take part in Gran Fondo to help the homeless

Anna Keenan who together with her dad Paul (pictured) and brother-in-law David will be taking part in the Gran Fondo in aid of the Simon Community.
Anna Keenan who together with her dad Paul (pictured) and brother-in-law David will be taking part in the Gran Fondo in aid of the Simon Community.

Three members of a Newtownabbey family are on track to take part in the third edition of the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia when it comes to Northern Ireland on Sunday, June 4.

Anna Keenan, her father Paul and brother-in-law David White will be taking part in the Strangford Route of the race in aid of The Simon Community.

The route starts from the Titanic Belfast and involves riding 58km of rolling roads with two categorised climbs.

The first challenge of the day on June 4 will see them tackle Monte Braniel, a hill climb which leads to some of County Down’s most scenic villages and takes in Strangford Lough.

The second and final hill climb of the day will see Anna, Paul and David cycle the stunning Monte Moneyreagh which leads back to the finish line situated at the back of the titanic centre in Belfast city centre where they will receive their medals.

Their team of three will be tackling the route in aid of the Simon Community Northern Ireland which Anna, a support worker, explained is a charity close to her heart.

She said: “I currently work within the organisation and have seen first hand the improvements that can be made to a person’s life who may have found themselves homeless due to unforeseen circumstances.

“The Simon Community campaign at the minute shows that many people within Northern Ireland are just two pay packets away from being homeless. Due to this we feel it is our duty to provide shelter and support for these individuals who have found themselves vunerable and alone.”

Anna has set up a donations page and would appreciate any public support for their forthcoming participation in the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia NI which is fast becoming one of the “must-ride” sportives in the UK and Ireland. Last year some 4,000 riders took to the roads for the event.

Her donations page can be accessed via the link: http://m.virginmoneygiving.com/mt/uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Simoncommunityfondo&isTeam=true&un_jtt_redirect and can also be found on Anna’s facebook page (Anna Keenan) and Instagram (anna_keenan_)

Northern Ireland homeless charity The Simon Community NI was established in 1971 in response to a homelessness crisis in Belfast and now helps over 3000 people every year across 22 projects throughout Northern Ireland.

Anna added of the trio’s fundraising cycle in aid of the charity: “The aim is to raise as much as possible with a small target of £150 pounds set for the meantime.”