Extra participants and helpers are welcome at this year’s Laois Darkness Into Light walk, taking place once again in Mountmelllick at the break of dawn on Saturday May 9.
John and Susan Nelson from the town brought the uplifting fundraiser for Pieta House to Laois four years ago.
“Last year we had 800 participants. This year we hope to hit the thousand mark. We have a great committee but there are only ten onf us, we need more volunteers to help with carparking,” said John.
The 5km walk/run takes place at 4.15am as the sun rises to symbolise the journey out of depression back to the light.
Candles will again light the route, with a fun warm-up, a memory tree and a banner at Mountmellick GAA centre.
The route takes the flood of yellow t-shirted participants around the town, back to base for refreshments at sunrise.
John explains why he and his wife hold the event.
“Both of us have been affected by suicides in the last few years, it’s everywhere, it’s like a cancer. These days people are more open about mental health, and I would tell them they are not alone, go and talk to someone, no matter how dark things get there is always light there,” he said.
Their walk is one of 80 happening at dawn around Ireland, and now in America, the UK, Canada and Australia, with 100,000 participants.
Pieta House offer free professional counselling to anyone experiencing suicidal ideation or self-harm, with nine centres across Ireland.
Register for the 5k at dil.pieta.ie. Registration points will also be held around Laois in the coming weeks, check facebook and area notes.
Offers of refreshments also welcome, call 087 3275527