Coronavirus: Darkness into Light postponed due to outbreak

The postponement will result in a ’significant funding gap’ for suicide-prevention charity

  Darkness Into Light event in Clontarf, Dublin in aid of Pieta House in 2019.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Darkness Into Light event in Clontarf, Dublin in aid of Pieta House in 2019.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Pieta’s Darkness into Light charity walk has been postponed until the Autumn due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The event, which was expected to attract 250,000 attendees, was due to take place on May 9th in almost 20 countries worldwide.

The new date for the 5km walk, which is the flagship annual fundraising event for the suicide prevention charity Pieta, will be confirmed at a later date but organisers are working towards Autumn 2020.

Elaine Austin, the chief executive of the charity, said while the decision to postpone was difficult, the safety of people is “our highest priority”.

“The event will indeed take place, but at a more appropriate time when the threat of the coronavirus has passed. We are assessing an autumn date and will confirm this as soon as possible,” she said.

The postponement of the walk will leave Pieta with “a very significant funding gap”, a statement by the charity says.

Pieta provides free counselling to those who are engaging in self-harm of suicidal thoughs and provides free bereavement services to those who have been touched by suicide.

“The need for public support for Pieta is greater than ever, especially now when so many people are feeling stressed and anxious during this time of crisis,” Ms Austin said.

“I am appealing to all those who had planned to walk with us on May 9th to donate at Pieta.ie so that our vital services can continue. It is important at this time that people do not feel alone.

She added: “Furthermore, I am asking the wider public to think of those who need our support and to visit Pieta.ie to donate. We rely on the support of the public for 80 per cent of our funding and we need their help more than ever.”