Tipperary people are being asked to join those in London and Sydney as Pieta House’s flagship fundraiser, Darkness into Light, held in association with Electric Ireland, goes international for the first time.
The suicide and self-harm awareness group which has a centre in Roscrea, was founded in 2006 by psychologist Joan Freeman.
RTÉ TV presenters Sinead Kennedy and London-based Eoghan McDermott launched the national suicide prevention charity’s annual event which is now in its sixth year.
Taking place on Saturday, May 10, Darkness into Light is a unique, early morning experience which begins in darkness at 4.15am as thousands of people walk or run a 5km route while dawn is breaking. The early dawn represents hope and is symbolic of the work of Pieta House; bringing people from darkness back into the light.
Speaking at the launch, Ms Freeman said: “Darkness into Light is an incredible experience and one that people remember for a long, long time. There’s already huge anticipation and with so many new locations involved for 2014 it’s going from strength to strength. We’re tying this year’s event in with our Mind Our Men campaign that aims to reduce male suicide in Ireland, so I want to ask everyone to bring a male friend or family member with them. We’re making a big push this year to get all the men out – it means an early rise but they won’t regret it.”
Darkness into Light 2013 attracted 40,000 participants in 20 locations around Ireland. With this year’s event taking place in 39 locations, Pieta House is hoping for a near doubling of last year’s turnout.
Darkness into Light is the most vital component of Pieta House’s fundraising calendar. As demand for the service continues to grow and with more than 80 per cent of Pieta House’s income depending on public donations, funds raised during Darkness into Light are essential for Pieta House to continue to provide a free service for the increasing numbers seeking help. Proceeds from last year’s event helped to fund Pieta House’s recent expansion into counties Cork, Galway and Kerry.
Registration for Darkness into Light with Electric Ireland is available online at dil.pieta.ie