More than 500 attend Darkness into Light London

More than 500 attend Darkness into Light London

MORE than 500 fundraisers braved the early hours on a drizzly Saturday morning to take up the Darkness into Light 5k challenge to raise funds for the Pieta House charity.

Among them was former Murphy Group director Caroline Murphy, who claimed as a suicide ‘survivor’ she was determined to make a difference for those with mental health issues.

Members of the Biblecode Sundays band also took part in the early morning challenge.

Held in London for the first time, the popular fundraising event, which supports the Irish Pieta House charity - a suicide prevention service, kicked off at 4.15am from the Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood.

There fundraisers, clad in neon yellow t-shirts, set off to run or walk the distance through the streets of Cricklewood and into the nearby Gladstone Park.

Setting off in the dark they eventually completed their course in the light of day and raised vital charity cash in the process.

Caroline Murphy was among those who took part in the challenge, which coincided with 40 other ‘Darkness Into Light’ events taking place simultaneously across Ireland that morning,

Blogging after the event she explained that she had survived a suicide attempt and was now committed to supporting mental health charities.

“This morning’s walk from ‘Darkness into Light’ showed London’s Irish community at its best,” she said.

“Hundreds turned out, braving the heavy rain to support Pieta House, a charity dedicated to preventing suicide and self-harm.  In the process we sent a strong message to anyone in pain – ‘You do not walk alone’.”

She added: “Having survived a suicide attempt myself, this is a deeply personal issue and I am committed to working with others to make a difference.

“Part of that process involves creating the space for discussion.  We need to take mental health seriously long before a member of our community becomes suicidal.  This means tackling the stigma, in our homes, workplaces, sports clubs and bars - that’s what London’s Irish community have done today.”

A total of 80,000 people are estimated to have taken part in Darkness into Light events across Britain and Ireland on Saturday.

The annual event is held in memory of those who have died by suicide and to raise suicide awareness.

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See Wednesday's Irish Post for more photos from Mal McNally

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