"50 First’s by Shelly” for ISPCC/Childline

Michelle O’Donnell (Shelly), is half way through her personal challenge of “50 firsts by Shelly”

Her half way point was to climb the summit of Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, sitting 978m (3,209 ft) above sea level in spite of challenge weather conditions!

Shelly has set herself the task of taking on a quirky fundraiser for the ISPCC/Childline, 50 things she has never done before over a 12 month period.

Travelling alone from Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, she made her way to the Lake District National Park, Cumbria by car, bus, plane and train and joined a Scout Group in Cumbria.

Joining a company called “The Lake District Walker”, Shelly and the group along with another couple  successfully made the summit around 2pm on 8th May this year.  The views at the top were unfortunately impaired by drizzling rain and low-lying cloud, however, Shelly says the views prior to the summit were spectacular and Robert (their leader) was "extremely knowledgeable.”He made the climb very enjoyable despite the challenging conditions, "we even did a bit of rock scrambling which we had never done before”.


Scafell Pike now complete and marking the halfway point of her challenge, Shelly says she is delighted with her progress and has managed to raise over €700 for ISPCC/Childline so far, among other things she has summited :

  • “Benbaun” the highest mountain in Galway,

  • completed nearly 50km Kayaking,

  • completed the 46km cycle from Westport to Achill Island and

  • crossed “One Man’s Path” Sliabh League in Donegal.  

Shelly has lots of plans underway and is hoping to reach her 30th Challenge on Sunday 2nd June with something else very exciting. Shelly has decided to run the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon this year. While she has completed the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon in 2018, she feels “it will be good training for the full marathon and another way of raising money for Childline”.


Please give her a wave or a shout out (and maybe even a happy birthday as Shelly will be turning 50 on race day!) in Dublin on Sunday 2nd June and afterwards you can find her at “Cowboys and Heroes” Country Music Festival in Leitrim celebrating her run with her favourite Country Music Star Derek Ryan.


Shelly’s mammoth fundraiser will end with her running her first ever Full Marathon, hopefully in Jersey, Channel Islands where she was born with her brother Andre.



Shelly can be followed on Facebook “50 First’s by Shelly” and on Instagram “borntoscout”.  She would be extremely grateful for any donations to her chosen charity either online or to her sponsorship card, she also encourages anyone who would like to join her on any of the remaining challenges to get in contact.  “I have met many wonderful people on this journey so far and I am looking forward to meeting and inspiring many more”.

Triona Driscoll