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Dublin: 12°C Monday 17 May 2021

'Social Distance Digital Relay' raises more than €70,000 for Pieta House

The event took place around Ireland and worldwide yesterday.

A ‘SOCIAL DISTANCE Digital Relay’ that took place across Ireland and further afield yesterday has raised over €70,000 for Pieta House.

The Offaly camogie team were among those to take part, with many GAA clubs also involved as over 100 teams and around 1800 people worldwide got involved.

2 The Offaly camogie team were involved in the relay.

With the annual Darkness into Light event having been postponed until October due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Social Distance Digital Relay raised valuable funds for Pieta House – a free, professional service for people at risk of suicide and self-harm, and those bereaved by suicide.

“It was incredible to watch it come to life all across the world yesterday,” said Mark Bennett, one of a group of Maynooth University alumni who organised the relay.

“The idea stemmed from a WhatsApp chat one Thursday evening and we had people across the world coming together while staying apart in order to raise funds for Pieta House, especially in times where their services have seen a huge increase in demand.

“We were thrilled to do our bit with news of Darkness into Light’s postponement until October. We even had two teams enter from Pieta House itself.

“It’s nothing short of incredible to see the fundraising total above €70,000, given our initial fundraising goal was €1,500 on our GoFundMe account.

“The feedback from the fundraising team in Pieta House on the relay has been nothing but positive and this money will go a long way in delivering vital services for the organisation.”

The relay involved teams connecting across 13 hours of the day by walking, running or cycling their individual portion of the relay, with each team member then passing the ‘virtual baton’ to the next person via social media.

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Ireland Women scrum-half Kathryn Dane, Mayo footballer Sarah Rowe, and Ireland rugby strength and conditioning coach Ciaran Ruddock were among those to get involved.

For more info, check out the Social Distance Digital Relay page on GoFundMe.

If you need to talk, contact:

  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 (suicide, self-harm; 24/7 support)
  • Samaritans 116 123
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

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