Stonehaven woman organises charity event

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A unique event that raises awareness of a leading suicide and self-harm prevention project is coming to Aberdeen for the first time next month.

The Darkness into Light walk, on May 9, is being staged around the world in support of Pieta House, a charity that works with people who self-harm and suffer suicidal thoughts.

More than 100,000 people are expected to take part in locations as far apart as the US and Australia, all of them walking along a 5km route as dawn breaks and torchlight makes way for daylight. Those taking part are being encouraged to connect with others at the event either by chatting to the person next to them or just saying hello. No one should walk alone. By working as a connected community, hope can be brought to those who need it and help move them from Darkness into Light.

Organiser Kate Findlay, from Stonehaven, said: “Self-harm and suicide is a major issue in Scotland and my aim is to unite the people in Aberdeen and the North East who have lost a loved one to suicide and those who are surviving their own battles.”

The issue is very personal to Kate, whose mother took her own life in 1975. She explained: “If there had been a facility like Pieta House at that time, perhaps there would have been help for her and we could have avoided the great sadness that affected me, my dad and brothers and sister.

“All the money raised at the event helps provide counselling to someone who suffers, it helps prevent a tragedy that has devastated so many families, and it helps people come through their darkest times.”

The first walk was staged in 2009 when 200 people walked across Phoenix Park in Dublin, where Pieta House has its roots.

Darkness into Light Aberdeen will leave from RGU Sport, Garthdee, at 4am on May 9. The early bird registration price is £15 until April 10 and £20 thereafter. All proceeds go towards suicide and self-harm prevention through Pieta House.

For further information please call Lesley Davidson on 07818090734 or email lesley@ldm-uk.com.