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Peadar gets on his bike for Samaritans in Ennis and Clare

ENNIS’ Peadar White will be getting back in the saddle this Friday in support of the Samaritans Ennis and Clare which is facing a significant loss of funding this year. Every year Peadar takes part in a sponsored cycle fundraiser at the Height to raise funds and awareness of the Samaritans. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that Peadar has had to change his initial plans and is now taking on a ‘socially distant’ 12 hour cycling challenge at home.
Peadar explains, “I had been in training since Christmas for this and we had it all arranged to do a cycle in the Height but that all had to be cancelled because of Covid-19. Then we were thinking about it and realised that I could do it at home. I’ll be cycling outside in my garden if the weather is good, and if it starts to rain I’ll just move the bike into my garage, I’m cleaning it out right now.”
He said that support for the Samaritans is desperately needed at the moment. “I’m mainly doing this to raise awareness of the work that the Samaritans do, I was a volunteer with them for 15 years so I know what goes on behind the scenes and how important that work is. They are working 24 – 7 to support people which is so needed right now. While I mainly want to highlight the work they do, I am also trying to raise funds for the Samaritans. Covid-19 has meant that fundraising events like the church collection have had to be cancelled so their backs are really to the walls now. I know that things are difficult for so many people right now, but even a small donation would make a difference.”
Donations can be made online at www.idonate.ie/PeadarWhite12HourCycle or send a cheque to Ennis Samaritans, Sunville, Kilrush Road,Ennis County Clare. 
Peadar’s fundraiser comes as the Ennis and Clare Samaritans has launched an appeal for donations from local residents to help ensure its volunteers can continue to support people struggling to cope during this crucial time.
Following the Government’s confirmation that Samaritans volunteers are critical to supporting vulnerable people, Ennis Samaritans is making every effort to ensure that they are able to provide emotional support to anyone in crisis.
Volunteers that are able to carry out shifts at Ennis branch are following strict guidelines on hygiene standards and social distancing. The situation will be continually monitored to ensure that volunteer safety is prioritised.
Branch Director at Ennis Samaritans, Gerhard Terpelle said, “For almost 40 years, our branch has provided a listening ear to anyone who needs support, which has been possible through the public’s kind donations. Now more than ever, we need the public’s continued support. Due to the cancellation of our upcoming fundraising events we are facing a significant loss of funding, so we are calling on County Clare residents to help us ensure that we continue to be here for anyone who needs support.”
A donation as little as €5 will help volunteers to answer a call for help from someone struggling to cope and be there when people need support the most.
“If anyone in the Clare Community wishes to raise vital funds for the Samaritans during the coronavirus lockdown this would be greatly appreciated,” said Gerhard. Suggested fundraising ideas include virtual bake-offs, tea parties, book clubs, or other similar events. Keep an eye on social media : SamaritansClare (Twitter) /samaritans_clare (Instagram) / Samaritans Clare (Facebook) where there are many challenges showcased.
Another Samaritans worldwide challenge is a Samarathon where individuals can run walk or cycle 26 miles over the month of July and donate via the Samaritans Ennis & Clare team at https://samarathon2020.everydayhero.com/uk/ann-1
To make a donation to the Samaritans use https://www.idonate.ie/SamsClare/5275/donate or send a cheque to Ennis Samaritans, Sunville, Kilrush Road,Ennis County Clare. Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, or you can email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org.

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