Staff and customers from a busy Belfast gym will be going the extra mile for Extern this month to raise vital funds for people facing homelessness and poor mental health.

Headquarters Gym in Belfast will be putting forward a number of relay teams for the Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon on April 30th to raise awareness of Extern’s work.

Gym owners Rhianna Callaghan, Donal McAllister and Joe Goudie made Extern their charity of choice because of its work in supporting people who are facing homelessness as well as those who have been impacted by suicide, alongside its other wide-ranging work.

The gym-goers’ efforts will see them cover the 26.2 mile course around the city in five separate stages, from the starting line at Stormont Estate to the finishing line at Ormeau Park.

The gym, which was opened in 2020 in the Boucher Road area, is hoping to field at least three teams for the event, with the aim of raising as much money as possible for Extern. This follows the business’s recent Christmas fundraising drive which scooped a generous £500 for the charity.

Coach Katie Wallace from Headquarters Gym, said: “The coaches in HQ Belfast started their career because they wanted to help people and we believe Extern does the same.

“Our dedicated team of staff and customers can’t wait to get out there and hit the road to support Extern on race day. We wanted to show our support for Extern in the best way we know possible – by bringing fitness and fun together to raise vital funds and help more people find out about the great work which Extern does to support people across our communities.

“Exercise can be such a great way to overcome some of the effects of poor mental health and isolation which many people feel, so we’d encourage anyone else who might be interested in taking part to get in touch, and we will be happy to support them with training advice.”

Extern Fundraising Manager Grace O’Neill said: “We’re delighted to have the support of the Headquarters team for the Belfast Marathon. Every penny they raise will go towards supporting people facing a range of issues, so we will be among those cheering them on at the finish line as they complete this amazing fundraising effort.

“If you are already doing the event and haven’t found a charity to fundraise for please consider making Extern your chosen cause.”

To donate to the Headquarters Gym marathon relay team, please visit