Sunday 21 October 2018

Samaritans hosting national conference

The biggest event in Drogheda & North East branch of Samaritans’ history will take place from Friday to Sunday, April 13th-15th.

For the first time ever, the local branch will host the Irish Regional Conference of Samaritans.

Delegates representing branches of Samaritans all over the country, north and south, will descend on Drogheda for the conference, the theme of which is ‘The Power Within’.

The 2018 Conference will open at the City North Hotel on Friday night where the guest speakers will be Cindy O’Shea, regional director of Samaritans, and Pio Smith, Lord Mayor of Drogheda. Music on the night will be provided by the Drogheda Male Voice Choir.

On Saturday, the two keynote speakers, Dr Harry Barry, who is based in Drogheda, and Irish international rugby player Hannah Tyrrell, will take to the stage.

Throughout Saturday there will be a series of workshops taking place in various parts of the hotel. These include:

• The Power of Laughter with Anne McDonald,

• Finding Your Mojo, with the Drogheda Training Team

• Why do you want to stay alive today? with John Donohoe

• The Louise Hay Technique, with Laura Hilliard Brady

• Postvention – Reaching out to a community in need, with the Drogheda Postvention Team

• See me for who I am, with Vanessa Lacey, and

• How is your health affected by wealth, with Dave Kavanagh.

During the weekend, the branch is aiming to shine an even stronger light on the Samaritans message and strengthen its position as one of the leading charities in the fight to ensure that less people die by suicide.

There will also be a social aspect to the weekend and visitors will be given ample opportunity to explore all that Drogheda has to offer.

Hosting this prestigious conference is a major coup for the Drogheda & North East Branch. It was formed in 1996 with a handful of local people and two phones but has grown into a thriving organisation providing a vital service in communities in Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan.

Director of Drogheda & North East Branch of Samaritans, Pat Mulholland, said a huge amount of planning has gone into the event over the last few months.

‘We could not have organised this weekend without the help and support of family, friends and local businesses,’ he said.

‘Our volunteer members on the Conference Committee, in particular, have left no stone unturned in their aim to ensure the weekend is a major success.

‘We have an excellent line-up of speakers in place, and a wide variety of workshops which we feel will be of great interest to our visitors.’

Mr Mulholland added: ‘The aim of the conference will be to address a range of issues in the area of mental health, with ‘The Power Within’ theme at the core, and give the visitors a very positive message, and some new ideas to bring back to their respective branches countrywide.’

Drogheda and North East Branch of Samaritans comprises a dedicated team of approximately 100 volunteers, and is widely regarded for its high standard of work in the communities it serves.

Drogheda Independent