Mark Dalgarno of Aberdeen ran from Dyce to Fraserburgh along the Formartine and Buchan Railway Line on Sunday (10th October) to raise funds for DRiNKLiNK – an alcohol charity set up to provide support to friends and family impacted by someone else’s drinking.
Taking on this challenge as part of the North East Big 10, a campaign that hit Aberdeen City and Shire on the same date, Mark opted to raise funds for the charity which formed roots in Fraserburgh almost 10 years ago.
Speaking of his motivation, Mark said: I’m a bit of a geek for old railway lines and have always loved walking and running along this route. I’ve wanted to do the whole distance in one go for some time, but never found the time, never had the fitness or had the inspiration.
‘I started volunteering with DRiNKLiNK earlier this year which coincided with the launch of the North East Big 10. It felt like a great time to take on the challenge and to raise awareness of a great cause.’
Mark has surpassed his expectations and has raised a total of over £1500, which will be split equally between DRiNKLiNK and Mental Health Aberdeen.
Speaking of his own mental health issues, Mark continued: ‘2020 was the most challenging and best year of my life. I was put on furlough from my job and eventually made redundant which I think a lot of people can relate to. With a baby on the way, unemployment triggered anxieties and stresses that have plagued me through my adult life.
‘I’ve since managed to get myself to a place where I feel incredibly better about myself, managing my anxieties and their triggers a whole lot better. In truth, I feel fantastic and value myself so much more. But getting to this point, hasn’t been straight-forward. I’ve had to rely on countless resources to help me get there. Which is why I feel so passionate about these causes.’
An employability and career coach by profession, Mark has taken on the role of Employability Programme Manager at DRiNKLiNK and has taken on the challenge to build out the charity’s employability and CPD volunteer programmes. ‘The market is competitive at the moment, as many people look to find new careers. DRiNKLiNK aims to make sure all volunteers benefit from the hours they put into helping reduce the ripple of alcoholism that impacts so many households across Scotland. In order to help the charity drive solutions like drinklink.org, to create unique content that challenges people’s understanding of alcohol misuse and to fuel its signposting service, I have challenged myself to inspire DRiNKLiNK recruits to build up their C.V.s as they volunteer, helping them to find employment or progress in their careers.
‘Working for me is a welcome distraction and definitely soothes my anxiety and I look forward to have the opportunity to help people build on their passions, find a rewarding career and to build up their confidence on what they can achieve.’
To find out more about DRiNKLiNK or how you can help Mark in his mission, please visit DRiNKLiNK.org or alternatively email email@example.com.