Splash Out at Blessington lakes in aid of RCNE

Rape Crisis North East (RCNE) are excited to announce their inaugural kayak fundraising event: SPLASH OUT! Come Paddle for a Good Cause, taking place on Blessington Lake, Co. Wicklow on Saturday 27th August 2022.

About Blessington Lakes

Blessington Lakes is serenely set in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains, offers amazing views over the reservoir and covers over 5000 acres of tranquil clean water formed 50 years ago by the building of the Poulaphouca Dam and Hydroelectric station. The Poulaphouca reservoir is the largest manmade lake in Ireland, and it is an ideal place to hold our Kayak event.

Sponsored by Viatris, a global healthcare company, and supported by Canoeing Ireland and Poulaphouca Paddlers, RCNE’s aim is to raise money towards a deposit for a new safe and secure centre so that they can continue to support survivors of rape and sexual violence.

Grace McArdle, RCNE manager said: “As an essential frontline service covering Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan and surrounding areas, we are appealing for help to protect the most vulnerable in our society; survivors of rape and sexual violence, both male and female from the age of 12”. 

“Over the last few years we have seen a huge surge in the demand for our services, which has only intensified due to the recent arrivals from Ukraine.  In the last ten years, we have had to move premises three times, and this is no longer feasible for a service that needs stability. We are in a crisis situation, and we urgently need to secure a new safe and secure building to cope with the increased demand”.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Viatris to organise this exciting new fundraising event in aid of our charity and are so grateful for the kind and much needed support of Canoeing Ireland and Poulaphouca Paddlers”.

“As a global healthcare company with a mission to empower people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life, we know that good health is more than medicine, said Melissa Fisher, Viatris Country Manager for Ireland. 

We feel immensely privileged to be supporting RCNE and their exciting inaugural kayak event. The service that Grace and her team provide is fundamental to creating good health and they desperately need a welcoming, confidential, safe and supportive home for their clients and we are truly excited to be part of their fundraising day”. 

It is hoped that the kayak event will encourage the registration of approximately 200 paddlers or more.  Everyone who registers will automatically enter into a prize draw and once registered, participants can set up their own fundraising page to help with RCNE’s campaign to raise money for a deposit for a mortgage on a new centre.

Paddlers Information

The paddlers will launch from the Bay at Russelltown at 11.00am on Saturday 27th August to begin their 10 kilometre journey down the Blessington Lake, finishing at the Avon Beach.  Participants can bring their own kayaks, or they can hire equipment from Poulaphouca Paddlers. 

SPLASH OUT! Come Paddle for a Good Cause will start with a warm up at 10.30am and will commence at 11.00am on the route to Avon.  Participants aged 12 and over are able to take part thanks to the support from Canoeing Ireland and Poulaphouca Paddlers.  Paddlers can take a leisurely pace to enjoy the scenic views.

Buses will be available to take paddlers to the starting point from the Avon Car Park from 9.15am, finishing at 10.15am.  Volunteers and ushers will direct all participants and assist with boats.  Price per paddler €25 with own kayak and €45 including rented kayak.

To register online and for more information please go to the RCNE website and their event registration page eventmaster.ie/event/zbxxSPYSQJ for full details.

Spectator Information

Spectators of all ages are invited to come and cheer on all of the paddlers along the course and there is a full agenda of activities planned for everyone. This includes live music and performances, fantastic prizes to be won and food trucks available for drinks and refreshments; the event will have something for everyone!

Please follow RCNE on Social Media for updated Information at 

@rcnortheast @RCNorthEast RapeCrisis North East   rcnortheast 

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