THE XL Challenge 2013, which was launched by Junior Minister Alan Kelly in the Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh, will help raise awareness and much needed funds for Living Links, which provides outreach and support to those bereaved by suicide.
Living Links also increases awareness and understanding of suicide and its effects on individuals, families and communities, liaises and provides families with information on health services available in the region, referral pathways to such services should such professional counselling be required and encourages the suicide bereaved and /or suicide affected to establish and foster an ongoing support group among themselves.
Living Links was founded in Cloughjordan in 2002.
Also attending the launch was Michael Egan, national co-ordinator and founder of Living Links and John G Dwyer, mountaineer and author.
Mr Egan gave details of a conference to be held in conjunction with the XL Challenge 2013. This conference will be held at the Abbey Court Hotel on April 5. The theme of the Conference is Suicide is Everybody’s Business and will have three main speakers – Michael Egan, Christy Kenneally, broadcaster and author, and Joe McAvin of 3T’s (Turn the Tide on Suicide). Commencing at 10am with a workshop on Suicide Alertness Training given by Mr Egan it is especially aimed at representatives from each factory and business in Nenagh, and North Tipperary. As numbers are limited for the workshop booking is essential. From 3pm to 5pm, Mr Kenneally will host a workehop on Loss and it is hoped teachers, transition year students and the public will attend. The seminar finishes with a presentation on Suicide is Everybody’s Business by Mr McAvin, Mr Kenneally and Mr Egan from 8pm to 9.45pm
A number of awareness and fundraising events will take place over the coming months. A concert by international singer David Parkes will be held on Sunday, March 10, at 8pm in St Michael’s & John’s Church, Cloughjordan, in support of Living Links. Tickets available from Pat O’Brien 085-7256650 or Willie Keane 087-6633577
John G Dwyer spoke at the launch of his personal experience on the joys of hillwalking and the forging of friendships with fellow hillwalkers over the years. John, who hails from Thurles, is a member of the Mid-Tipp Walkers and spoke on the research done on the benefits of hillwalking activities to a person’s wellbeing. He wished the Challenge every success and assured support from the Mid-Tipp Walkers.
The XL Challenge 2013 takes place on April 6t in the Silvermines mountains. There will be two hikes A and B, with Aiden Dillon, leader of hike A, and Pat Delaney, leader of hike B. Hike A is for fitter experienced hillwalkers and will take five to six hours. Hike B is for people with reasonable fitness and will take three to four hours. There will also be a two-hour walk through the old mining area.
Val O’Meara from XL Shops nationwide wished the Challenge every success and looked forward to working with Mr Egan in supporting Living Links. The XL Challenge is the first step in support from XL Shops nationwide.
The XL Challenge 2013 is not a race but an event to be enjoyed by all participating. The organiser’s first concern is the safety of everyone on the hills. For further details visit www.xlchallenge2013 or Willie Keane 087-6633577. Registration forms can be downloaded from the website and sponsorship cards are available from Willie Keane. Early booking is essential.