New dawn for Darkness Into light
HOPE Walkers urged to share a sunrise
This week the annual Darkness Into Light sunrise walk takes place on May 8. For the second year in a row, it will take a different form to the usual throng of people who come together in a heart-warming expression of community support for those who have lost loved ones to suicide.
“We can't gather together for our walk again this year because of Covid restrictions, but people can still take part,” chairperson of Cavan Darkness Into Light Fiona Corby said of the 2021 event. As with last year, participants are encouraged to find a route, a pitch, a safe area to walk and share a sunrise together.
“Will be decorating around Con Smith Memorial Park and will have inspirational posters around Cavan Town. Two memory tables will be set up at the park and the banner of hope allows people to leave a message. There will be a donation bucket available and a member of the committee will be stationed at the memory area,” Fiona explained.
The Cavan Darkness Into Light chairperson was in Con Smith Park last Thursday evening where she was joined by the Teach Oscail Team and An Garda Síochána's Community Engagement Team as an awareness raising exercise around mental health and Pieta House.
This year's event is about encouraging people to do a walk that suits them: “If you are out walking at sunrise please pick a safe route in which to walk, stick to all Covid regulations, don't forget to take your sunrise selfie and send them into our Facebook page for us to share.”
Thursday's meet up with The Teach Oscail Team and An Garda Síochána's Community Engagement Team was a part of the build up to the May 8 date: “This is to make people aware of the level of support out there. There's a huge community in Cavan Town of people who come out and support Darkness Into Light and Pieta House each year. The Garda Síochána Community Engagement Team will be getting out and getting involved in any community events particularly around mental health awareness.”
Pieta House has given tremendous support to those contemplating suicide and the suicide bereaved: “70,000 phone calls were answered in 2020, that's 70,000 people who reached out for help and received it. That is why Darkness into Light is so important. The funds that are raised keep this life-saving service open and free to every single person that needs it.
“We want to let people to know that there is help out there and people are not alone, to encourage them to pick up the phone when they are need. Just get people to call 1800, 247 247 for a service that is 24 hours a day seven days a week. It is operated by fully qualified therapists,” Fiona says.
The local Darkness Into Light held an event at Christmas in response to a number of tragedies: “It would break your heart. Even though we were limited in what we could do at Christmas time, we held a memory walk. It was something for families who lost someone through suicide in the last year. There was a huge sense of community spirit. It was to let people know they are not alone during these dark times.”
The annual Darkness Into Light sunrise walk takes place on May 8, check out the website at www.darknessintolight.ie for more details.