LIMERICK Samaritans are urging runners to taking part in this year’s virtual Great Limerick Run over the May Bank Holiday week-end to raise funds for its life-saving service.
Samaritans is the only emotional support 24-hour helpline in Ireland, with volunteers listening for over 70,000 hours during the first year of Covid.
Last year, its dedicated team of volunteers in Limerick and Tipperary answered more than 100 calls a day, supporting thousands of people in need during their darkest hours.
The Limerick branch is run as an independent charity by volunteers and all funds raised in Limerick will remain in the city and county.
Branch Director Catherine Slater said: “There is no doubt Covid-19 has impacted on everyone’s life in some way and will have had a profound impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing.
“Our volunteers in Limerick have supported people throughout the pandemic, with many taking on extra shifts to ensure there was never a time when our helpline had to close.
“This was at a time when almost all of our fundraising activities ceased, meaning we need the public’s support more than ever.
“We appeal to anyone taking part in the Great Limerick Run virtually this May to consider raising funds for us to ensure we can keep supporting people when they need us most.
“Loneliness and isolation remained among the top reasons why people reached out for support, as well as mental health issues including stress and anxiety, family, relationship, financial or employment issues, bereavement, chronic pain, and illness.
“Our key message to anyone who is struggling to cope is not to bottle it up. We urge anyone who needs to talk to reach out to a relative or friend or call Samaritans anonymously on freephone 116 123 or email [email protected]”