Calling all dashers, dancers and prancers – Aware’s Christmas 5K goes nationwide

15th annual event to raise vital funds for mental health organisation’s vital services

Longford Leader reporter

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Calling all dashers, dancers and prancers – Aware’s Christmas 5K goes nationwide

Devin Toner and his family (wife Mary and son Max age 3) in their garden helping launch the Aware Christmas 5K

Rugby legend Devin Toner and his family launched the 15th annual Aware Christmas 5K, urging people all over Ireland to come together ‘virtually’ and take on a 5K challenge in support of mental health. 

Aware has seen a dramatic increase in demand for its services since March, highlighting the impact of Covid-19 on the nation’s wellbeing.

The Aware Christmas 5K will raise vital funds to ensure the organisation can continue to deliver its free support, education and information services nationwide.

Taking place from Friday – Sunday, December 11 - 13, participants can walk, run or jog the 5K distance close to home. Corporate organisations are also encouraged to get involved, with the event providing a fun way to bring the team together this Christmas, while supporting an important cause. Online registration is available now at www.awarechristmas5K.com  at a cost of €25 per person. Each participant will receive a custom medal that doubles as a Christmas tree decoration and treat from sponsor Cadbury.

Stephen Butterly, Head of Fundraising at Aware commented: “We are delighted to extend the Aware Christmas 5K nationwide this year and hope to see participants from communities and organisations all over the country get involved. Covid-19 has affected all aspects of our lives. At Aware, we continue to see significant demand for our support services, to include a 60% increase in calls to our Support Line. People with pre-existing mental health conditions like depression may be more vulnerable but we are also seeing many people developing mental health difficulties for the first time. Our fundraising income has been affected this year and so we need the public’s support to ensure we can be there for everyone who needs us. We are asking as many people as possible to join us in the Aware Christmas 5K in support of mental health. Every single euro counts and every single participant will make a difference.”  

The Aware Christmas 5K is proudly supported by Cadbury. Commenting on the partnership, Senior Brand Manager with Cadbury Ireland, Tricia Burke, said: “Everyone at Cadbury is very proud of our partnership with Aware and every year, members of our team turn out in their droves to take part in the Aware Christmas 5K. There has already been huge interest from people who want to sign up for this year’s virtual event. We know that Aware has seen a significant increase in the number of people looking to use their vital services this year, so we are delighted to be able to help them continue to provide support, for people across the country. This is a great opportunity to get out and get active, while supporting a very important cause.”   

Aware services include Support & Self Care Groups nationwide and a Support Line and Support Mail service, both of which operate 365 days a year. Aware also delivers a range of wellbeing programmes designed to empower adults and senior cycle students with the knowledge and skills to build resilience and protect their mental health. For more information visit www.aware.ie