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UL Student Aoife Noonan



My name is Aoife Noonan and I am a third-year student studying Psychology with Spanish at the University of Limerick. I will be receiving a Presidents Volunteer Award this year for volunteering for Pieta House.

Over the last number of years, I have participated in the Darkness into Light walk. The fundraising from these walks allow the organisation to provide specialised treatments in preventing self-harm. However, during these difficult times of uncertainty, many charity events including the darkness into light walk have been postponed causing organisations such as Pieta House to be negatively impacted.

This April I decided to set up the Marathon in a Month fundraiser in aid of this very worthy cause. I posted it on social media platforms in March which resulted in many participants across the country including UL Trampoline and Gymnastics club who were actively involved throughout the month in reaching their walking/running or cycling distances. It has been proven in psychological research that being active outdoors improves mental wellbeing, self-perception and self-esteem while reducing stress and anxiety. The money that was raised will fund over 80 more therapist-client phone calls potentially saving these people from self-harm.

On April 30th, with the assistance of Irish Student Trampoline Open committee I organised a relay during the 12 hours of brightness that day for Pieta House. I initiated the relay at 8am that Thursday morning by running an 8km distance within a 2km radius in Limerick and virtually passed the baton to the next participant. The participants were trampolinists from not only Ireland but also Scotland.

Despite the exercise restrictions it is very easy and very important to be active. Throughout April I ran 156km all of which were within my 2km radius. This raised a significant amount of money for Pieta House. This goes to show that you can volunteer or fundraise from anywhere at anytime even during a pandemic when the help is especially needed.

By Aoife Noonan

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