Wednesday 16 October 2019

'Battle of High Rock' takes to streets of Malahide

John Manning

Volunteers were using pedal power to provide counselling hours to local youth in Malahide as the 'Battle of High Rock' took place in the village.

The Battle of High Rock was a static cycle event organised by the Malahide and Portmarnock SÁMH group which was set up by the North Dublin Drugs and Alcohol Task Force in partnership with the local community to deliver a counselling service to the youth of the area.

For the purposes of the cycle, Malahide and Portmarnock teams went head to head with the winner declared as the one who cycled farthest.

Riders on the day included Deputy Darragh O'Brien TD against his brother the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eoghan O'Brien.

there was also members of St Sylvester's GAA up against Naomh Mearnóg members.

Malahide Community School took on Portmarnock Communityh School and Malahide Lions Club took on Portmarnock Lions Club.

Businesses from each town also cycled head to head and all the proceeds raised on the day went directly to delivering youth counselling hours in the locality.

Partnering with local communities to deliver youth counselling services is something the North Dublin Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Force is already doing with success in Skerries and now the organisation is launching a similar service for the Malahide, Portmarnock and Kinsealy area.

Head of the organisation, Brid Walsh explained: 'We have never been more aware of the mental health challenges for young people and the terrible consequences when help is not received.

'The North Dublin Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force is very focussed on this as part of its prevention strategy.

'With that in mind, we launched a second community based Youth Counselling Service in Fingal.

'This service is for young people in Kinsealy, Malahide and Portmarnock areas.

'The Task Force committed to providing a one day a week confidential service free of charge for young people aged 12-18years who are experiencing challenges to their positive mental health.'

Brid explained: 'Key to its success is the partnership with the local community.

'The Task Force established SÁMH (Substance Abuse & Mental Health) groups around North Fingal in an effort to work more closely with local communities to achieve a 'SAOL SÁMH' for its residents.'

This and other local fundraisers run in Malahide and Portmarnock look set to deliver even more counselling hours locally.

Brid said of the cycle volunteers: 'While, we may never have a clear High Rock victory, what is clear is that these communities care about their young people and will go to great lengths to support them.'

Well done to everyone involved. The local SÁMH is grateful for your support.

Fingal Independent