Cyclists urged to 'get on their bikes' and pedal for Pieta House
Cyclists of all abilities have been urged to sign up for the Cork leg of the 2019 'Pieta 100 Cycling Challenge', which will take place from the National School in Kilworth on Sunday, September 29.
Now in its fifth year the event, which has this year been scaled down to just three cycles in Cork, Limerick and Dublin, is held to raise awareness and vital funds of Pieta House, the Cork based suicide and self-harm prevention centre.
Participants will be given the option of taking on a 50km or 100km route on the day.
Since its inception 'Pedal for Pieta' challenge has helped raise more than €300,000, money that has been used to help expand the charity's free suicide prevention and intervention services.
Former Irish international track and field athlete David Gillick, who has spoken openly in the past about his struggles with depression and mental illness, has lent his backing to the 2019 challenge.
"Since opening its doors 13-years-ago, Pieta has heard painful truths from thousands of people of all ages who have come to them at the lowest point in their lives," said David.
"Events like this are critical for Pieta to continue to provide a direct service but also an opportunity for people to enjoy the outdoors, being active and most importantly getting out with friends and meeting people. Social connection is at the heart of Pieta's mission," he added.
The director of fundraising and advocacy with Pieta House, Kieran Brady, said they rely heavily on the support of the public to continue their work, with more 80% of its income coming through events such as 'Pedal for Pieta' and its annual Darkness Into Light' walks.
This money is invaluable in helping to run the 15 Pieta centres across the country initiatives including its outreach and in-reach services and its Resilience Academy, which aims to provide students with skills and coping mechanisms that are needed to succeed in school and throughout their adult lives.
"The services Pieta provide are crucial in today's society and it is of the utmost importance that our services are offered free of charge and no referral from a GP is required to access any of the services," said Kieran.
"While cyclists enjoy the fun and hopefully sunshine on the day, people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide will continue to contact our free-phone Helpline on 1800 247 247, as access to this service is around the clock," he added.
For more information about the Pieta 100 Cycling Challenge and to sign up for the event visit www.pieta.ie.