Thousands of people in Northern Ireland battle with loneliness every year.

This is an especially big problem for older people living alone. And it's become even more of a concern this year with the COVID pandemic forcing the most vulnerable in our society (in many cases, older people) to isolate on their own for long periods of time.

It's good to talk, and far too many elderly people living in our part of the world are going days and weeks at the moment without enjoying the simple pleasure of talking and having people who will listen to them.

This is something that we can all try and change by looking out for older friends we know who are living alone, especially in the run up to Christmas. But it's not easy to tackle this problem on our own.

To show our support for the fantastic work that Age NI are doing this winter through their "Check in and Chat" phone call service, we thought we'd set ourselves a fundraising challenge.

From 6pm on Friday 18th December to 6pm on Saturday 19th December, we are going to run for 24 hours non-stop. Or should I say, 24 people (or groups of people) will run for one hour each, on the stunning East Strand in Portrush to RUN AROUND THE CLOCK and raise as much as we can to help Age NI's efforts this Christmas. Please give generously!

Stephen Collins