THE ROUTE along the Thames towpath from Hammersmith bridge to Hampton Court is about 21 miles on foot. It was walking this long path that students from London University's joint chaplaincies managed to raise funds for the Pax Christi playschemes in the province.
Other events have taken place throughout the academic year. But the sponSored walk early this month raised the bulk of the money.
The playschemes take place every summer in Ulster; and provide a great variety of games, arts and crafts, day trips and other activities at a time ot heightened tension during the hot months. The children are encouraged to use their energy creatively and positively.
They can build up friendships with each other and with the young adult volunteers who come from other parts of the world including Britain.
In Antrim the scheme is integrated with the Catholic and Protestant children taking part, in an area where unemployment is 303/4. Other units exist in Armagh, Portadown, Dungannon and Belfast, where integration takes place on a more limited basis.
A generation of children have grown up in Northern Ireland, with the 'troubles' being a daily life-long reality. These schemes help in a small way to bring an air of normality for children caught up in a frightening and abnormal situation.
Further information from Pax Christi, Pottery Lane, London W11 4NQ or 52, Lower Rathmores Road, Dublin 6.
Donations for the London University project to Cathy White, c/o More House, 53, Cromwell Road, SW7.