Samaritans get up to speed with Limerick Awareness Drive

Anthony Geoghegan

Reporter:

Anthony Geoghegan

Shane Downey, Helen Kelly, Olivia Giltenane, Tony Martin and Aidan O’Keeffe at the launch of the Samaritans Outreach Programme Picture Brendan Gleeson

Shane Downey, Helen Kelly, Olivia Giltenane, Tony Martin and Aidan O’Keeffe at the launch of the Samaritans Outreach Programme Picture Brendan Gleeson

THE local branch of the Samaritans in Limerick is aiming to use a new van to spread their message of hope further afield.

The Limerick and Tipperary branch of the charity unveiled the new vehicle this Monday which will be used for outreach, with volunteers willing to drive out to not only Limerick and Tipperary but to other counties in Munster as well.

John Downey, lead volunteer with the Limerick and Tipperary branch of the Samaritans, said he was delighted that years of organising and fundraising has come to fruition. 

“We visit colleges, community groups, secondary schools, and do a talk, presentation or a Q&A session; we really want to break down the stigma of mental health,” he explained.

”A lot of people feel isolated or alone, and that they’re the only people going through with those emotions when in reality a lot of people go through a difficult time, as well.”

Also at the launch was All-Ireland hurling and football heroes Seamus Hickey and Shane Dowling, Olivia Giltenane, Cathy Mee and ladies junior football manager John Ryan with the West County Hotel Cup.

Mr Downey was delighted with the GAA stars’ appearance continuing the goodwill between the charity and the local GAA clubs.

If you need to talk, the Samaritans operate every day, 24/7 just phone 116 123, all calls are free.