South East Road Club (SERC) are hosting a gruelling 220km charity relay cycle in aid of two local charities. The event, which spins off from Coral Leisure Centre in Arklow at 7am on Saturday October 17th, will see club members complete a 44km circuit five times.
SERC Secretary Michael Forde said: “The club have selected these two charities because unfortunately there is no family in Arklow or the surrounding area that has not been affected by cancer or experienced issues relating to mental health. The demand for the invaluable services that both these organisations provide to the local community is growing and the cost of providing such important support is also increasing.
“Both charities rely heavily on funding raised by volunteers, local groups and clubs and we as a local cycling club are running this event to raise much needed funds to allow ACS and Talk To Tom to continue to help and support those in need of their vital services.
“As a community based organisation ourselves, SERC is committed to serving the people of South Wicklow, whether it be through offering a great social and healthy living outlet such as SERC or supporting lifesaving groups in whatever way we can.”
Mary O’ Brien from Arklow Cancer Support Said: “We would like to thank SERC for their support. Arklow Cancer Support provides a safe place for a person diagnosed with cancer and their families, providing important information and new coping skills in a non judgemental and caring environment. We do this through our ‘Volunteer to Drive Programme’ taking patients for their daily radiation therapies.
“We also offer a one to one counselling service for clients and family members, and we also provide play therapy for children. Specialised therapies, complementary therapies, and telephone support service Information and courses are also available.
“Arklow Cancer Support is a purely voluntary organisation which relies solely on donations and fundraising from the local community. As an organisation we receive no funding from Government or H.S.E. All our funds go towards the day to day operation of our services.”
Ray Cullen, Talk To Tom CEO, said: “We cannot thank SERC enough for their help and support during this difficult time for all of us. The Covid-19 Emergency has seen increasing demand and strain on our services. Since the beginning of the Pandemic, calls to our help lines have increased by over 60pc.
“The numbers seeking help and support through our counselling services has also increased by a similar number. Most worryingly the number of children and adolescents seeking help during this period has tripled. The pandemic has been an especially stressful time for young people. The lockdown had a particularly detrimental effect on peoples mental health across the board.
“We forget that for many of us home is our safe place, for others it is not. An alarming number of people suddenly found themselves trapped in a place where they did not feel safe and secure. It is fundraisers like this that help us to continue to offer our vital services to these vulnerable individuals and families.
“We already see a large number of people from the Arklow and South Wicklow area, but we hope to be able to offer these services closer to home for these individuals very soon. It is our hope, with the help of our local community, to open a counselling centre in Arklow in the coming months.”