A group of 100 serving and retired members of An Garda Síochána from all over Ireland have come together to organise and take part in a ‘Four Peak Mountain Challenge’ due to be undertaken in May 2017. The aim of the challenge is to promote mental health awareness within our organisation and in the wider community. They also hope to raise much needed funds for the Charity Aware through fundraising.
The event is a 3 day challenge where participants will climb the highest mountain peak in each of the 4 provinces of Ireland. Participants will be accompanied by serving officers from the NYPD, PSNI, Australian and Spanish Police who are taking part in and supporting the challenge.
The event named ‘Garda 4 Peaks Challenge’ will take place as follows:
· Day 1: Carrauntoohil (Kerry) 1039m, (3,414 ft) – Friday 19th May, 2017
· Day 2: Mweelrea (Mayo) 814m (2,688 ft) – Saturday 20th May, 2017
Slieve Donard (Down) 850m (2,796 ft) – Saturday 20th May, 2017
· Day 3: Lugnaquilla (Wicklow) 925m (3,039 ft) – Sunday 21st May, 2017
One of Ireland’s Multi Award Winning Press Photographers Mark Condren will be joining the team on the Challenge where he will document it all.
In undertaking the 4 Peaks Mountain Challenge, our aim is to generate conversation about mental health awareness amongst both our colleagues and members of the public and to promote the importance of mental health wellbeing in personal as well as work life. The challenge also aims to raise awareness of the supports that are available to those who suffer with mental health issues. We hope to use our Country’s hillsides to showcase the beautiful natural resources that we have on our doorsteps and to promote how it can be so beneficial in keeping our minds as well as our bodies healthy.
The secondary aim of the Four Peak Mountain Challenge is to raise much needed funds for ‘Aware’, to aid them in continuing their work engaging with community members in need of mental health services. The members of An Garda Síochána who are participating in the challenge aim to raise €50,000 through individual fundraising and sponsorship. All funds raised will be donated to ‘Aware’ to allow them to continue their invaluable work in our communities. To date we have raised approximately €30,000. We are using a Just Giving Account as our main online sponsorship account. We will have a text message donation line set up shortly and details of this will follow.
‘Aware undertakes to create a society where people affected by stress, depression, bipolar and mood disorders are understood, supported, free from stigma, and are encouraged to access appropriate therapies’ (Aware Mission Statement). ‘Aware’ relies on fundraising events such as this, as well as corporate and public donations, for 85% of its annual funding.
The Garda Commissioner Nóirín O Sullivan said:
“I’m very pleased to be associated with this very deserving and worthwhile cause. I’m also delighted that my Garda colleagues and some of our international colleagues from abroad are taking on this challenge to raise both the awareness of mental health issues, and much needed funds for Aware”
Mr Dominic Layden, CEO at Aware said:
“Fundraising efforts like The Garda Four Peaks Challenge are worth so much more than just’ the monetary value of what is raised. Aware’s services have such a profound impact on people, families, and homes across Ireland. Depression and bipolar disorder can have a huge affect on the person themselves, not to mention on family life and relationships, and things like work and study too”