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2024 Darkness into Light set for May date in effort to raise vital funds for Pieta’s suicide prevention services

By Irish Pharmacist - 01st Apr 2024

Darkness Into Light, Pieta’s annual fundraising event to raise money for vital suicide and self-harm support, will take place at 4.15am on Saturday, 11 May, 2024. Some 100,000 participants are expected at more than 230 official walks across four continents, with many more taking part to fundraise in their own way.

Darkness Into Light 2024, sponsored by Electric Ireland, will bring communities together for the most important sunrise of the year, with its walks beginning in darkness and continuing through to dawn, symbolising the journey from despair to hope. Launched today by Bláthnaid Treacy, Erica Cody, and Eoin Doyle, the ambassadors are calling on the public to sign up today and support Pieta’s flagship fundraiser.

Speaking at the launch of Darkness into Light 2024 ambassador Bláthnaid said: “I am beyond proud to work with Pieta and Electric Ireland to support Darkness Into Light this year. Having participated with friends and family for as long as I can remember, it truly is the most important sunrise of the year and I look forward to taking part again this year.”

To put into context the scale of services provided by Pieta and the ongoing need for donations, last year the charity received 100,000 calls and texts to its crisis helpline, provided nearly 52,000 hours of therapy and saw close to 7,000 clients across the country. The charity also supported more than 600 families and households bereaved by suicide.

Pieta depends on the funds generated by Darkness Into Light, with more than 85 per cent of the charity’s annual income coming from public fundraising. Pieta’s 300 qualified therapists, Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officers, and support staff across the country rely on this essential income to continue their lifesaving work.

By participating in the event, supporters can make a real and tangible difference, as the €26 sign-up fee for Darkness Into Light will enable Pieta to answer two calls to their 24/7 helpline, providing immediate support and guidance to those in crisis.

Stephanie Manahan, CEO of Pieta, emphasised: “With about 100,000 crisis calls and texts to our helpline last year, we are under pressure to make sure we can continue to provide this vital service and keep our promise to those in their darkest hours that there will always be somewhere for them to turn. Together, with Electric Ireland’s support and the collective efforts of our participants, volunteer committees, and communities across Ireland, we can continue to shine a light on the importance of mental wellbeing and provide support to those in crisis. Darkness Into Light is not just an event, it is a beacon of hope, guiding us towards a future where every individual feels supported and valued.”

Pat Fenlon, Executive Director, Electric Ireland, said: “Electric Ireland is very proud of our ongoing support for Pieta and Darkness Into Light over the last 12 years of our partnership. Each year, we work with Pieta to create marketing and fundraising campaigns to promote awareness of this incredible event and encourage as many people as possible to participate and donate. The power of Darkness Into Light is in its ability to bring hope and consolation to communities across the country, and to raise much needed funds for the vital service provided by Pieta. This movement reflects our values as an organisation and our determination to make the world brighter for our customers, staff, and the communities we serve.”

Calling on people to sign up at www.darknessintolight.ie, Pieta and Electric Ireland reminded people across the country that by getting involved in the event, they are making a valuable contribution towards Pieta’s vital therapy and support services for those impacted by suicide.

Pieta provides an easily accessible, free-of-charge service which is available online, by phone, or in person. Support is open to people from all walks of life and therapists provide assistance to individuals from eight to 88 years old. Darkness Into Light plays a crucial role in enabling Pieta to uphold its commitment to providing suicide prevention, intervention, and bereavement support services, ensuring that help is always within reach when it is needed most.

In addition to supporting Pieta’s lifesaving services, Darkness Into Light is a global movement dedicated to raising awareness of the issues surrounding suicide and self-harm, and helps fund the essential mental health and suicide prevention services offered by Pieta’s 28 partner charities across the world. Be it walking, running, swimming, or sharing their sunrise with family and friends, this event provides an important opportunity for people all around the world to come together, foster a sense of hope, and raise crucial funds for suicide prevention.

Sign up today at www.darknessintolight.ie.

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