Irish rugby player Joey Carbery has called on the people of County Kildare to take part in Aware's Christmas 5K fundraiser.
The 26-year-old recently launched the 16th annual Aware Christmas 5K, which takes place from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 December.
Carbery is encouraging individuals, families and communities from all over Ireland to come together virtually to be part of theevent to support Aware’s services for people impacted by depression and bipolar disorder.
The charity is inviting people, including corporate organisations, from all over Ireland to walk, jog, run or hike their favourite 5k route anywhere in the country at a time of their choice over the weekend, and to share their efforts on social media using #WeAreAware to further demonstrate their support.
Aware has also said that those who really want to get into the spirit of the Aware Christmas 5k are encouraged to dress up in their favourite Christmas jumper or Santa hat!
Over the last year, 30,000 people have directly benefited from Aware’s support services, and a further 8,000 people took part in education programmes facilitated by Aware.
In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has further fuelled the need for such supports, with Aware expecting sustained high levels of demand during 2022.
Speaking about the event, Carbery said: "This December, take a positive step for yourself and for others and join me on Aware’s Christmas 5k: it’s a fantastic opportunity get out and breathe in fresh air on an invigorating 5k walk, run, or hike, and to help people who are impacted by depression and bipolar disorder."
"You can be part of something special that will make a real difference to people’s lives this Christmas," he added.
Stephen Butterly, Head of Fundraising at Aware, also commented on the announcement, saying: "We are delighted to be announcing the 16th Annual Aware Christmas 5K, following on from our hugely successful virtual event in 2020."
"Aware is inviting individuals, families, friends, communities and organisations all over Ireland to come together in support of our services this Christmas."
He continued: "Depression and bipolar disorder impact on households all across our country, and 2021 has seen a continuation of high levels of demand for our services.
"We need as many people as possible to join with us this December to help us to raise funds so that we can continue to be there for everyone that needs us."
Online registration is now open at aware.ie/christmas5K at a cost of €25 per person.
Each participant will receive a custom medal that doubles as a Christmas tree decoration and treat from the event's sponsor, Cadbury.
Founded in 1985, Aware's services include a Support Line, Support Mail and Support & Self Care Groups, along with a range of positive mental health programmes.
For more information on Aware or to register for their 2021 virtual Christmas 5k fundraiser, visit aware.ie/christmas5k.
If you are impacted by depression, bipolar disorder or other mood related conditions, you can contact Aware’s free support line 7 days a week from 10am to 10pm on 1800 80 48 48.
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