Sunday 25 March 2018

Runners are nappy together!

Thomas O'Brien with his uncle, Joe O'Brien.
Thomas O'Brien with his uncle, Joe O'Brien.

AROUND 100 colourfully dressed or scantily clad runners and walkers took to the streets of Gorey on Sunday evening for the Nearly Naked Mile in aid of the Talk to Tom charity.

The fun one mile run came at the end of a day of activities designed to create awareness of the services available through the suicide prevention and awareness charity Talk to Tom, and to raise further funds for the charity's work.

The day began with a well attended family fun day in Gorey Showgrounds, hosted by Gorey Rangers.

The highlight of the day was the official opening of the new clinic on the Fort Road, Gorey, which will act as a base for many of the organisation's work, including psychotherapy services, training, and a drop in centre.

The Tom O'Flaherty Memorial Trust was set up in July 2012, after 25 year-old Tom from Church Street, Gorey took his own life. His family and friends who set up the organisation have said they were overwhelmed by the response from the public.

'We've had a phenomenal response,' said Tom's brother Conor. 'We're getting the same support today as we did all along.'

Tom's good friend Mark Redmond was invited to cut the ribbon on the new centre. Mark was one of the supporters who put a lot of work into renovating and extending the centre.

Clinical Co-ordinator and Psychotherapist Ann Prendergast said that the psychotherapy or counselling services are offered on a confidential basis to young children, adolescents, adults and couples, and financial support for these services are available if required. These are open to anyone seeking help, including those experiencing suicidal thoughts.

New open sessions are available at the centre on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, where people can call in for information on the services that are available, or simply for a chat with someone with counselling skills.

A therapy group on specific issues will also start shortly, as will a group for those who have experienced suicide in their family and are trying to come to terms with their loss.

Training will also start shortly in QPR – a suicide first aid course on 'Question, Persuade, and Refer'.

The Talk to Tom Charity Shop on St. Michael's Road is also very well supported and is helping with the continued running of the service.

A total of 511 red balloons were released to remember the 511 people who are known to have died by suicide last year.

The Nearly Naked Mile ended at McGovern's on Main Street, and an after party was held to thank all those who took part or helped on the day.

Call 087 981244 or visit Tom O Flaherty Memorial Trust on Facebook for more information.

Gorey Guardian