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Saturday 19 August 2017

Counsel students get 'cycological' raising €3k for Cycle Against Suicide

Good Counsel College Spinathon in Tesco for Suicide Awareness. From left; Luke Barrett, Graignamanagh, Adam Bookle, Cushinstown, Evan Cahill, Gusserane, Ronan Cloney, Rathnure, Noel Banville, Foulksmills, Kyle Dwyer, New Ross and Shirley Dempsey, Good Counsel College
Good Counsel College Spinathon in Tesco for Suicide Awareness. From left; Luke Barrett, Graignamanagh, Adam Bookle, Cushinstown, Evan Cahill, Gusserane, Ronan Cloney, Rathnure, Noel Banville, Foulksmills, Kyle Dwyer, New Ross and Shirley Dempsey, Good Counsel College

David Looby

Good Counsel College students have raised more than €3,100 for Cycle Against Suicide through a spinathon as part of a mental health promotion week at the school.

Students took part in a 24-hour spinathon in Tesco, New Ross from 9am to 9pm on the final Friday and Saturday of April. The students cycled on stationary bikes to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing. Their efforts raised an amazing €3,126.27, which will be donated to Cycle Against Suicide.

PJ Walsh, TY coordinator said: 'A huge thank you needs to be extended to the community of New Ross for their generosity and support on both days for this worthwhile cause and to Tesco New Ross who are always so accommodating for the event.'

This fundraiser kicked off a jam-packed positive mental health week in Good Counsel College. In the weeks leading up to positive mental health week, TY students participated in 'The Harmony Programme', which deals with the issues of drug and alcohol misuse and their affect on your mental health, through the medium of music, rap and poetry. Elma Walsh, mother of Donal Walsh, spoke to 6th year and TY students on the importance of life. She spoke about how Donal fought so hard to live and how he had a stubbornness about him, refusing to give up and fighting through every battle he had. She encouraged the students to also have a stubborn streak within them, to work through any issues or problems they may have and to reach out and talk to someone. TY students presented Ms Walsh with a cheque for € 1682.87 for the Donal Walsh foundation. They raised the money last September when they climbed Mount Brandon in Dingle, in memory of Donal.

During the week, Diarmuid Lyng (senior inter-county hurler for Wexford 2004-2013) presented an inspirational workshop to the students on the importance of wellbeing both mentally and physically in both sport and more importantly in life. Bully 4 u, a well-known organisation that develops anti-bullying programmes also spoke to numerous years over two days. The facilitator focused on the impact that bullying has on individuals, with a specific focus on cyber bullying and internet safety.

The aim of the workshops were to ensure that students understood the reality of situations they might find themselves in, particularly online, and to give them the tools to empower themselves to deal with bullying.

Students from Good Counsel, along with their teachers, finished the week by participating in the 37km leg of the C.A.S. from Kilkenny to Carlow on Friday. 'Participation in the cycle part fulfils the requirement for the prestigious Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador School Award.'

Good Counsel College has received Ambassador status for the last three years, as well as being an Anchor school for the cycle which passed through New Ross last year.

Mr Walsh said: 'Our TY students have worked very hard promoting mental health across our school community this year, through many different events and have gained hugely.'

New Ross Standard

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