Business news

Turning up the Heat at Happy Feet with first-ever Belfast firewalk

Posted By:
NICHS (Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke)

6th Mar 2024

ORGANISED by a number of local businesses, the general public is being urged to put their best foot forward to take part in the first Belfast Firewalk event on 3rd May, which will see participants walking across hot coals to raise vital funds for the Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke Association (NICHS).

Teaming up with The Wild Soul Tribe, Happy Feet Podiatry and Firewalk instructor, Lynda Emmett, the event was created by Beyond Skin Business Owner, Jennie Wallace, after she suffered a devastating stroke in 2023. Jennie lost the use of her left leg and arm but with support from the NICHS, she learned to walk again, and is now looking for 40 brave ‘soles’ to join her in the Belfast Firewalk challenge.

Ursula Ferguson, Director of Care Services at Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke says; “Following her stroke, Jennie took part in our Post Rehab Exercise Programme (PREP), a physiotherapy led, community-based course which helps to rebuild people’s lives after stroke through exercise and education. We are so thankful to Jennie for organising this fantastic event to raise funds for our work, to enable us to continue to provide support to others like her affected by stroke whenever they need it.

“Today, there are over 40,000 people living with a stroke or TIA, also known as a ‘mini stroke in Northern Ireland, and many people may be surprised to learn that 50% of stroke survivors in the region are under 75-years-old. In 2022/2023 we helped 1,042 people affected by stroke through our services. Our care pathway supports stroke survivors on their journey from hospital to home and beyond.

 “As a charity, almost 90% of our income comes from public donations so fundraising efforts like Jennie’s are vital in enabling us to continue to support the local community and provide life-changing services.”

 Firewalkers will receive training before their walk across red-hot coals, which can reach a temperature of more than 500 degrees Celsius.  The Firewalk will take place in the new premises of Happy Feet Podiatry in Belfast and will be an event filled with inspiration and positivity. Each person that completes the Firewalk will finish the evening feeling empowered after a series of motivating talks with the acclaimed life coach and Firewalk instructor, Lynda Emmett.

Organiser Jennie Wallace added: “Strokes are often associated with the older generation, however cases of young strokes are on the rise, and that’s part of the reason why I wanted to share my story, not only to raise awareness but also to contribute to a cause that’s close to my heart. I am excited to be organising the Belfast Firewalk, a unique and daring event aimed at challenging personal limits and garnering support for NICHSA through fundraising.

“Having a stroke is a life-changing experience. You must adjust to a different way of life. But recovery keeps going. I’ve come quite a long way in twelve months, so who knows where I’ll be one year from now. The prospect of walking over hot coals is an exhilarating and symbolic journey, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about this event.”

The event will be overseen by Master Firewalk Instructor, Lottie Moore, one of the UK’s leading Fire Walk organisers. If you’d like to challenge yourself and take part in the Belfast Firewalk, participation costs £50 and you can register at

The Belfast Firewalk will take place on the 3rd of May from 5pm at Happy Feet Podiatry, 16 South Link, Belfast, BT11 8GX.