ORGANISERS of this year’s Darkness into Light event says they are hugely encouraged by the changing demographic of people registering to take part.
Those behind the annual event are also delighted with the amount of early registrations this year, with over 300 already signed up. Tellingly though, almost a quarter of those already registered are under 18.
“This is hugely encouraging,” Debbie Deans said this week. “This means that the message of hope is reaching those young people and their peer groups. Conversations are being had, whether that is online or face-to-face and they are arranging to register and meet up and walk it with their friends.
“They will hear first hand about the help and the services that places like The Koram Centre and Pieta House offer. They will go home after and they will know that they are not alone and that it is absolutely OK not to be OK.”
This year the walkers can look forward to the usual T-shirts, candle bags, tea lights, and refreshments after – with the addition of a beautiful choir from Class Act who will perform their moving rendition of ‘You Will be found’ in Melvin after the walk.
“I will be walking with my daughter for the third year in a row,” Debbie continued. “She has been doing it since she was six-years-old, as have many of her friends.
“Stigma can only be broken down if we bring up our children to know that mental health is as important as physical well-being.
Set to take place on May 11 at 4.15am, Darkness Into Light will see hundreds of people take part in a 5k walk around Strabane to raise funds and awareness for Pieta House whilst also supporting those affected by suicide and self harm.