A group of enthusiastic young people in County Waterford are preparing to embark on an inspiring fundraising initiative this weekend to raise awareness of suicide and mental health.
The fundraiser, entitled ‘Ready Steddie Go’, is dedicated to their friend Eddie Connolly, Ballylynch, Kilmacthomas, who sadly died on August 5th last year from suicide.
Eddie is fondly remembered as a great friend, son and brother who brought light and joy to the lives of others even when his own was filled with darkness. Eddie’s friends are determined to keep his memory alive and want to help others who face struggles as he did.
On Saturday June 5th, commencing at 3pm, they will run for 24 hours in relays to show that, regardless of the time of day, nobody is alone and someone is always there for you. Participants will complete laps of Kilrossanty’s GAA grounds and will proudly wear specially designed jerseys to mark the event. In total, 40 runners will take part.
All have been training diligently in advance of their mammoth challenge. They hope their endeavours will raise awareness of suicide in our local communities and will encourage anyone experiencing difficulties to speak out and reach for help. In the lead up to the event, they have been sharing footage from their training sessions online and have also shared heart-warming messages of hope.
In a touching tribute to Eddie, they shared a video featuring a montage of photo memories with the following message:
“Whilst we can’t make any more memories with him, we can try and help each other to ensure we are all together looking after one another. Suicide robs us of the chance to create a lifetime of happy memories together.”
They have highlighted that Ireland has the 17th highest suicide rate in Europe but the fourth highest suicide rate for males aged between 15 and 24.
“Any life lost to suicide is a tragedy and more must be done to save lives and raise awareness,” they say.
The ‘Suicide or Survive’ charity has been chosen as the designated charity to receive funds which are raised through this initiative. The charity is already well-known in the locality as it has been the beneficiary of funds raised by Cllr. Liam Brazil’s ‘Mental Health and Suicide Awareness’ annual cycle.
Kilrossanty GAA Club are also proud advocates of mental health awareness. In fact, the club was one of the first clubs in the country to step out and proudly support positive mental health and mental health awareness through their jerseys which were sponsored by Cllr. Brazil. All involved with ‘ReadySteddieGo’ would greatly appreciate any help in raising vital funds and awareness. Although they would love to involve everyone in the run, due to Covid-19 restrictions they are limited to running in pairs.
However, they are encouraging people to get involved in their ‘24& more campaign’. This weekend, they would like anyone not involved in the run to: do 24 minutes of exercise with a friend or family member; post a picture online including the hashtag #readysteddiego; make a donation to ‘Suicide
or Survive’ by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/readysteddiego; check in with someone you have lost touch with due to Covid-19 to see how they are doing; and nominate some friends to do the same.
Follow the ‘ReadySteddieGo’ Facebook page for updates leading up to the run. A donation box will also be in place at Kilrossanty GAA grounds for cash donations.