Rugby club, affected by suicide, to fundraise for mental health charity

After losing a members of the rugby family to suicide, an NI club is organising a walk/run or cycle in aid of a mental health charity.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 12:29 pm

Portadown Rugby Football Club has been affected by suicide over the last couple of years and decided to help raise funds for Yellow Ribbon NI.

Members are planning to run/walk or cycle to accumulate the 3,869 miles of the coast of Ireland. in order to raise £5k for the charity.

And it all kicks off on Monday May 1, running throughout the month.

Portadown Rugby Football Club President Ciaran O'Kane and Dr. Arthur Cassidy of Yellow Ribbon.

It’s been a challenging time and the club has also appointed a mental health point of contact for members who are struggling.

A spokesperson said: “From the 1st of May Portadown Rugby Football Club will be taking up the challenge to accumulate 3,869 miles, the total distance of the coastline of Ireland.

“We will be doing this by team members and others associated to the club signing up to the app Strava and tracking their Walk/Run/Cycle. The goal for the club is to raise £5,000 for the local charity Yellow Ribbon NI through a JustGiving page. including colleges, universities and the wider business community.”

Club President Ciaran O’Kane said: “Here at Portadown Rugby Football Club, we are very aware of the strain that has been put on people’s mental health in the last 12-18 months. To counteract this, we have recently appointed club member Jonny Hampton as our chaplain and a point of contact for any of our members that are struggling to talk to someone.

“In NI we have the highest rate of suicides in the UK and in the past few years, we have sadly lost members of our rugby family to suicide. This is the reason why we think a partnership with the local organisation Yellow Ribbon is a great idea and we have decided to run a fundraising event that will support their services and raise the profile of the amazing work that they do in the community. The event is also a great opportunity for our members to get active again after lockdown.”

Dr Arthur Cassidy of Yellow Ribbon said: “we are delighted to have Portadown Rugby Football Club, on board to fundraise and help raise awareness of the services that we provide to the local community. We rely entirely on donations to run our facility and welcome any assistance that PRFC and its members can provide.”

Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention is a cross-community inclusive organisation contributing to the aims and objectives of the Government’s Protecting Life Strategy NI. They are dedicated to the prevention of suicide attempts throughout the community by empowering individuals and communities through leadership, awareness and education. This is carried out by collaborative partnerships with other mental health support groups including colleges, universities and the wider business community.

People can donate via the JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/prfcxyr and see all the progress of the event via the club’s social media platforms.

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