Last year, 490 participants from 21 counties took part in a month-long sea swimming fundraiser called ‘Coldtober’ in aid of Helplink’s mental health services and this year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Roscommon native and Helplink’s Marketing and Fundraising Manager, Ruth McCourt told the Roscommon People this week: “We are thrilled to be launching Coldtober for a second year in a row. Coldtober 2021 was a huge success and totally exceeded our expectations. We saw 490 participants register for the sea swimming fundraiser across Ireland, and the money raised from this fundraiser helped Helpink’s counselling services to expand immensely!
“During 2021, at our Galway location, we provided just over 1,200 counselling appointments to children, young people and adults. In the first six months of 2022 we had the same amount of appointments as we did in the whole year of 2021 – a 100 per cent growth in demand!
“We have also hired 16 new counsellors to keep up with demand for online and offline appointments, and have hired a full-time Services Delivery Manager to monitor and streamline all of our counselling services and provide support to our counselors.
“I’m delighted to be managing and executing the Coldtober 2022 campaign. I am so passionate about mental health services and hope with the continued expansion of Helplink we will continue to support and make a difference in people’s lives. I’m a sea swimmer myself so I will be taking part again this year at Blackrock. Also a huge thank you to our sponsor Portwest Ireland who have come on board again this year”.
Helplink CEO Lochlann Scott added: “Coldtober allowed us to hire a new play therapist to meet the demand for play therapy appointments, and this has resulted in a whopping 42 per cent increase in the service in the four months following Coldtober, compared to the previous year
“Play therapy supports children aged 3-12 in Galway and Castlebar and allows children the time and space to work out what may be troubling them, supporting each child to fulfil their full potential”.
Coldtober takes place throughout the month of October and you can register at www.helplink.ie.