The caring nature of county Longford people was on view this morning as thousands took part in the Pieta Darkness Into Light Walk, proudly supported by Electric Ireland.
It was uplifting to watch people get up and do their bit for others at 4.15am.
Longford town and Ballymahon, where Ballymahon Vocational School organised the town's first walk, was a sea of yellow for the Pieta House fundraiser as walkers, runners from 8 years of age to 85 completed the 5 kilometre course.
Students, staff and parents from Ardscoil Phádraig in Granard participated in the Longford walk at Albert Reynolds Peace Park (The Mall).
Close to 200,000 walkers across Ireland and throughout the world started a journey into hope as part of Pieta’s annual flagship fundraiser.
Darkness Into Light has become global movement against suicide taking place in 202 venues across 19 countries in 5 continents, as people come together to remove the stigma around suicide and self-harm and spread the power of hope in Ireland and around the globe.
All funds raised through Darkness Into Light will support Pieta to deliver its counselling, therapy and bereavement services across its 15 centres in Ireland, operate its 24-hour suicide helpline (1800 247 247) and contributes to the Resilience Academy programme which supports youth mental health in schools. Since opening its doors 13 years ago, Pieta supported 40,000 people who were at the point of suicidal crisis and/or engaging in self-harm.
Elaine Austin, CEO, Pieta said: “Darkness Into Light unites us as people, from rural communities to major cities, across the globe, in a spirit of comfort and compassion to give and build hope. It connects us all, creating the energy for change, in which suicidal thoughts, self-harm and stigma can be replaced by hope, self-care and acceptance. It is vital for the delivery of our services and for raising awareness. We are so thankful to have had 200,000 people walking with us today from Darkness Into Light. I want to thank our volunteers, our supporters, our partner Electric Ireland and all the participants for their involvement in this year’s event. However, the journey continues beyond the finish line of the walk. It is vital that we continue to build hope.”
Electric Ireland has proudly supported Darkness Into Light and walked alongside Pieta for the past seven years to bring hope into the homes of our customers, staff and communities across Ireland that have been affected by suicide.
Commenting on the long-term partnership between Electric Ireland and Pieta, Marguerite Sayers, Executive Director, ESB said: “Electric Ireland has proudly supported Darkness Into Light since 2013, helping Pieta to grow the event from 20 venues to a global movement across 202 locations. Darkness Into Light is a true demonstration of the power of hope as people come together to offer support and solidarity to those who have been impacted by suicide; and today’s event was as moving and powerful as ever.”
Darkness Into Light is vital for fundraising and for raising awareness on the issue of suicide. If you didn’t get a chance to support you can still donate; visit www.darknessintolight.ie and click donate.