The Niamh Louise Foundation Trustees and Staff were invited to O Tooles Bar Ballymacnab recently, to gratefully accept a cheque for £13,000, the proceeds from the very successful Feile Joe that took place from Fri 27th – Sun 29th August.
Last year, a similar event raised the tremendous amount of £7000, but this year, all expectations were exceeded in such a vast amount being raised. The Niamh Louise Foundation would like to take this opportunity to thank the organising committee, the O’Toole Family and Paudie Beagan and to commend them for their professionalism, not just for the money raised, entertainment and craic but for their vision in bringing awareness into the local community of a very emotive and sensitive topic.
Accepting the large donation on behalf of the Charity were James and Catherine Mc Bennett (Co-founders) and Eimear Mc Kearney, Resource Centre Manager for the Niamh Louise Foundation. In a small address to those attending the presentation, James outlined the importance of the weekend event in creating a tremendous amount of awareness on suicide and self harm and the support and services available through the charity to help those most vulnerable in our society. He also announced that the charity had received good news from SOAR (Southern Organisation for Action in Rural areas) recently, stating that they were successful in a project application under research for rural areas. This research project is to specifically identify the needs of the rural community in relation to mental health, emotional well being and suicide prevention and to use this information establish what is needed in the future. James also stated that the monies from Feile Joe would be used to enhance this piece of work further leaving a very significant legacy at its completion. It was also announced that a book was to be created very much in the same spirit of the weekend where storytelling and song writing were prominent. This book would archive a lot of the stories of the families of those who have died by suicide and the aftermath of such tragedies.
In a small address Eimear mc Kearney emphasised how the monies would be spent on supporting families bereaved by suicide and those who are at risk of suicide. This will be done through mentoring, befriending, and complimentary therapies and will also allow the charity to offer training to the community. She ended by thanking all of the people of the local community for their continued and valued support.