Saturday May 11th: Starting in the darkest hours of this morning at 4.15am, close to 200,000 walkers across Northern Ireland and throughout the world started a journey into hope as part of Pieta’s annual flagship fundraiser, Darkness Into Light proudly supported by Electric Ireland.
Participants joined the global movement against suicide in taking place in 202 venues across 19 countries in 5 continents today to spread hope and raise vital funds for those affected by suicide and self-harm.
Twelve of the venues were in Northern Ireland spanning the six counties and forming a worldwide invisible chain of hope that stretches from Crossmaglen to Christchurch and from Ormeau Park to Ottawa. The number of venues is up in Northern Ireland this year from nine to 12 demonstrating clearly the importance and value people place on the opportunity to come together in solidarity and hope to raise awareness of and destigmatise suicide.
Speaking on this morning’s events, Elaine Austin, CEO, Pieta said: “Darkness Into Light unites us as people from rural communities to major cities, across the globe in a spirit of comfort and compassion to give and build hope. It connects us all creating the energy for change, in which, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and stigma can be replaced with hope, self-care and acceptance. It is vital for the delivery of our services and for raising awareness. We are so thankful to have had so many people walking with us today from Darkness Into Light. I want to thank the volunteers, supporters, our partner Electric Ireland and all the participants for their involvement in this year’s event. However, the journey continues beyond the finish line of the walk. It is vital that we continue to build hope.”
Electric Ireland has proudly supported Darkness Into Light and walked alongside Pieta for the past seven years to bring light into the homes of customers, staff and communities that have been affected by suicide.
Commenting on the 2019 walk Clare McAllister, Northern Ireland Residential Manager, Electric Ireland said: “The people of Northern Ireland have walked in their droves; their reasons for walking are many and varied but the outcome of their participation is a demonstration of the power of hope, they give hope to each other and help spread hope as part of a global community offering, support and solidarity to those who have been impacted by suicide. Today’s event was as moving and powerful as ever.”
Darkness Into Light is vital for fundraising and raising awareness of suicide and self-harm. If you didn’t get a chance to support, you can still donate; visit www.darknessintolight.ie and click donate.