East Coast Samaritans who operate from their local branch in Arklow, were out in force on Monday as they supported Wicklow man Paul Sutton as he cycled 200km to raise funds for his local branch.
Starting the challenge at 9am on Monday morning with a menacing looking sky above, things went uphill from there. The sun came out and the support was strong throughout the day. In keeping with the theme of the day that there is always someone you can speak to 24/7, Paul was accompanied with fellow spin cyclists for the entire duration of the challenge. The wheels turned on both bikes for a full 8 hours until the challenge Paul had set himself was complete.
‘Huge Thanks to Charlie Bird for his inspiring message ahead of the event and to each and every person who came out to say hi, wished us well and spurred us on, not just yesterday but for the entire month that we have been tying to help spread the word about Samaritans.’ Continued Paul
Click here to view Charlies special message to Paul ahead of the event https://posts.gle/6mpD7V
The camaraderie on the day was evident as friends, colleagues and family joined in the fun. Damien Byrne, Director at East Coast Samaritans was first to take a spin on the bike. Community Garda Therese Kelly didn’t hesitate to put her pedal power into action and took up position on the support bike for a decent 10km. Local couple Stephen and Chloe made their 60km plus contribution look easy and took multiple turns on the bikes to keep the wheels in motion on the day.
‘The support on the day was incredible, I hadn’t expected such a good turnout. What started out as a solo fundraising event, turned into a community fundraiser. It really was heart warming to get such great support on the day and it just goes to show that anything can be achieved with the right support. Always remember that the Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123 for anyone at anytime they need support.’ Paul Sutton
Pauls brother Tiernan Nolan jumped on to bring Paul to the finish line as the brothers took a sprint finish in the final few kilometres of the day.
Finishing up just after 5.30pm, Pauls next stop was the Arklow Beach and a quick dip in the Irish Sea before taking refuge at The Olde Ship for necessary refreshments.
Damien Byrne of East Coast Samaritans said ‘We are still tallying donations but Paul has hit his €3000 target. We are delighted with the Awareness that the two events have brought to East Coast Samaritans. Donations are vital for practical reasons but ensuring that people know how to contact us is equally important too. We are always here to talk and the awareness Paul has raised over the last month has been phenomenal.’
The donation link will be open until the end of the month for anyone who would like to donate 24/7 at Deck Coffee house| Fundraising Event Ireland (idonate.ie)