Staff and members of Fórsa expect to raise a total of €20,000 for mental health and charities working on suicide on foot of the sponsored charity cycle to Fórsa’s inaugural national conference.
The figure includes a contribution from the union’s national executive, which has agreed to match funds donated by branches, members and staff.
Last Wednesday afternoon, the cyclists rolled into a sun-soaked Killarney, having set off from Limerick that morning.
The initiative was organised by Fórsa officials Éamonn Donnelly and Dessie Robinson. In previous years, the dynamic duo had organised charity cycles that raised over €130,000 in total.
Dessie was keen to thank everyone involved. “I want to offer a huge thanks and congratulations to everyone who participated in the cycle and everyone who donated from across the branches and divisions. It was an absolutely brilliant day, and we are delighted to be able to raise money for these fantastic regional charities,” he said.
The four charities that will benefit are: SOS (Suicide or Survive), which offers support to struggling young people in the capital; Jigsaw Kerry, a mental health support service for young people throughout the county; First Fortnight, another Dublin based charity that challenges mental health prejudice through arts and cultural action; and Limerick Suicide Watch, which identifies and provides support to those in distress in Limerick city.
The emphasis on mental health was mirrored in the conference hall, where most delegates wore green ribbons as part of the ‘See Change’ campaign, which is working for a cultural shift in the workplace so that employers and employees feel supported and secure in discussing mental health.
Dessie also thanked the union’s national executive committee for agreeing to match the total amount raised through donations from branches, members and staff. He said the proceeds would be divided equally between the four charities.