Cycle Against Suicide seeking host families

Cycle Against Suicide seeking host families

Abbey Vocational School students Anna Travers, Jodie Walker, Damaris Scott, Kate Smith and Layla Alvey who took part in a fun run with Jim Breen from Cycle Against Suicide recently

If you've always wanted to do something to help combat suicide and promote better mental health, now is your chance.

The organisers of the 4th annual Cycle Against Suicide are looking for hosts who will accommodate participants for one night in towns along the route.

The charity circuit of Ireland takes place from April 24 to May 7 and will see hundreds of cyclists will take part for anything from one day to the entire circuit.

They will be accompanied by a host of support crew and other volunteers.

The race will visit Donegal on Days 4-7.

On Day 4, Wednesday, April 27, the cyclists will arrive in Stranorlar, after pedalling from Omagh via Cookstown.

The next day, they'll travel to Glenties where they will stop at lunchtime, then depart for Donegal Town.

On Day 6, Friday, April 29, the cavalcade will depart for Bundoran, where they will stop at lunchtime and then move on to Sligo.

The organisers are looking for hosts in the Twin Towns on Wednesday, April 27 and in the Donegal Town area on Thursday, April 28.

A spokesperson said “Our Homestay programme links local hosts with cyclists. Hosts are asked to provide a cyclist with a warm meal, a chance to freshen up and a bed for the night.

“This unique initiative facilitates a conversation around mental health in homes – with and between families. It also provides an opportunity for people to lend their support in a very tangible way to Cycle Against Suicide without necessarily having to get on a bike.”

Another way in which the event's participants and organisers engage with local communities is through the Anchor Schools programme.

Abbey Vocational School has again been named as an Anchor School, along with St Columba’s College in Stranorlar, St Columba’s Comprehensive School in Glenties and Magh Ene College in Bundoran.

Each Anchor School is organising a range of events to promote better mental health for students and in the community.

At AVS for example, principal Geraldine Diver told the Democrat, there will be presentations, videos, music, celebrity speakers and an exhibition of local mental health services.

“Our school is delighted to host this important event and welcome the cyclists to Donegal town. “

Ms Diver continued, “The impact of this type of activity is powerful and far reaching, not just in our schools, but also in the community at large.

“It gets the conversation around mental health going, and highlights the support services that are available to those who need them.

“It also promotes positive wellbeing and the importance of positive mental health in young people”

“Promoting positive mental health practices in our school, and the community, is important to the Abbey Vocational School.

“By becoming an Anchor School, and partnering with Cycle Against Suicide, we can continue to raise awareness of the issues around mental health.

“It is about encouraging people to know that it’s absolutely okay to ask for help.”

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