A GOOD Counsel College student has set about raising awareness and much-needed funds this Christmas for Pieta House, the Centre for the Prevention of Suicide and SelfHarm.
As part of his Transition Year, Lar Whelan, a fifth year student, undertook work experience in the kitchens of well-known Wexford chefs Phelim Byrne and Kevin Dundon, and his interest has grown from strength to strength since.
This Christmas, the young man from Bannow has decided to put his new skills to good use by baking and decorating a Christmas cake that will be raffled in his school to raise money for Pieta House.
'With all the excitement of Christmas it is easy to forget that it can actually be a very difficult and lonely time for some people, so I just thought it would be nice to raise some money for a very good cause,' said the 16year-old.
Pieta House, which was set up in 2006, was the first centre in Ireland that specialised in the prevention of self-harm and suicide. Pieta is an alternative way of helping people in crisis, but it is also a way that encourages collaboration with hospitals and doctors. The organisation has grown to almost forty therapists and administration staff in recent years in response to an ever-increasing demand. The charity greatly depends on fundraising in order to continue to support those who are most vulnerable, with eighty per cent of its income coming from fundraising efforts like that being undertaken by Lar.