Kindhearted relatives of Matthew Campbell are to participate in a gruelling challenge in aid of the Air Ambulance NI.
Matthew (24) died on September 19 when he was struck by a falling tree in Slieve Gullion Park during Storm Ali.
When the tragic events unfolded, the Air Ambulance NI was tasked to the scene and rescued Matthew’s co-worker who had also been injured.
The Glengormley man’s family members feel that if circumstances had have been different for Matthew, they also would have been rescuing him and would likely have been his only chance of survival.
They now wish to show their support for the charity service and raise funds in Matthew’s memory by taking on the Mourne Wall Challenge next year.
The daunting event will see over 20 of Matthew’s relatives and friends hike 22 miles over seven of the highest peaks in the Mournes on February 2.
The former pupil of Royal Belfast Academical Institution had been due to marry his fiancee Robyn Newberry in August 2019.
Speaking to the Times about the fundraising effort, Robyn said: “A friend of Matthew’s future brother-in-law, Aaron Spence came up with the fundraising idea and began brainstorming with Matthew’s sister Ashley.
“It was a no-brainer that Air Ambulance NI would be the chosen charity. Some of the guys taking part will be carrying 24kg on their backs to represent Matthew’s age.
“It’ll be a tough challenge physically and mentally, but Matthew will be with us every step of the way (probably laughing at us) and it’s lovely that Matthew’s family and my own can do this together for Matthew.”
Robyn added: “It costs around £5,500 to run the air ambulance for one day!
“This is the minimum amount we are aiming for, but we hope we can raise even more for this amazing charity. So far we have raised over £3,000 on our online donation page.”
In what will see them walk for around 12 hours in wintry conditions, the team members have started training at the Mournes ahead of the challenge.
Thanking the public for their support since Matthew’s death, Robyn said: “We are all so grateful for the community’s support throughout this devastating time in all our lives.
“We will never be able to thank them enough. Friends, neighbours, public services, Fleming and Cuthbert Funeral Directors the list goes on.
“I would like to thank everyone for their endless support, thoughtful words and donations.
“There have also been letters and flowers from south Armagh residents left at the scene and received by Matthew’s family.”
At Matthew’s funeral, another worthy cause was supported with £1,555 being raised for Macmillan Cancer Support. When gift aid was added it totalled £1,770.
His family and friends are also arranging a number of other fundraising events including coffee mornings and bag packs.
If you would like to make a donation in support of their Mourne Wall Challenge charity effort, go to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/robertmatthewcampbell?fbclid=IwAR0APEzF6-Y1eoA7Sdtp6i-kVH8HYci-jCKsQxkRX_GAjha1o0Esut__3vg