€9,000 raised for suicide prevention

The first ever Darkness into Light walk in Laois has raised a tidy €9,000 for national suicide prevention centre Pieta House.

The first ever Darkness into Light walk in Laois has raised a tidy €9,000 for national suicide prevention centre Pieta House.

Last Tuesday, July 10 the Mountmellick committee had the pleasure of handing over the money they helped to raise to Cathy Kelly from the charity.

At the cheque presentation in The Druid Inn, Mountmellick, committee chairperson John Nelson spoke of his delight with the success of their first walk.

“I’m thrilled with the turnout we had for Darkness into Light. We had such a great reaction from the whole community and we hope to build on this success for next year”, he said.

“I’d particularly like to thank Laois Civil Defence, Mountmellick GAA, Supervalu Mountmellick, The Druid Inn, the committee, our volunteers, everyone who took sponsor cards, and everyone who took part in the walk. I’d also like to say a big thank you to our local media in Laois who were very supportive,” he said.

Joan Freeman, founder and CEO of the charity, thanked the people of Laois for their support.

“I especially want to thank our hardworking committee, without whom this fantastic event never would have happened. Their dedication and commitment was invaluable and we’re very grateful for the money they raised for Pieta House. I hope that there’s now an increased awareness throughout Laois and the midlands of the free services that Pieta House provides to those in need of help,” she said.

400 Laois walkers and runners participated in the walk, one of 14 held simultaneously at dawn across Ireland, involving 15,000 people. The event aims to raise awareness about the issue of suicide and also to raise vital funds for the suicide and self-harm crisis centre. The dawn event is symbolic of the work the centre does, bringing people from darkness back into the light.

“Next year we want to make the Mountmellick walk even bigger, and we can only do this with the continued support of local people. I want to encourage people and businesses to get involved by volunteering; we also need help with tea/coffee, hot dogs and that after the walk. Anyone who is interested in getting involved can contact Pieta House on 01 601 0000,” said Joan Freeman.

This year’s event followed the release of figures from Pieta House which showed an 81% rise in the number of people seeking their help last year. For more information log on to www.pieta.ie