Pieta House's CEO is doing a grand tour of ALL their centres around Ireland in a rickshaw 7 years ago

Pieta House's CEO is doing a grand tour of ALL their centres around Ireland in a rickshaw

Pieta House is marking its tenth year in existence in a very special way...

Brian Higgins, CEO of Pieta House, set off from the original Pieta House in Lucan, County Dublin, at 9.45am on Wednesday 31 August and will finish an epic 10-day #PietaGrandTour trip on Friday 9 September, the day before World Suicide Prevention Day.

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The aim of the 1,000km (-ish!) journey is to raise awareness of – and to try and combat – the stigma that still surrounds suicide and self-harm. Brian came up with the idea of the `Pieta Grand Tour’ as Pieta House is marking its 10th year, the organisation has just opened its 10th centre (in Waterford) and he’ll complete the feat in 10 days (10x10x10 = 1,000).

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“Our vision is of a world where suicide, self-harm and stigma have been replaced by hope, self-care and acceptance,” the CEO said. “In the last 10 years, we have been brilliant at replacing suicide with hope and bringing people to self-care, but the biggest struggle for us is to replace stigma with acceptance.

“Individually, we all need to tackle the stigma that leads people to the doors of Pieta House. So the idea of the rickshaw came from the concept of creating a vehicle that allows people to talk about stigma and the pain that they feel. So I want people to journey in the rickshaw with me and tell me their stories.”

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Brian continues, “the aim is to try and create a mechanism where we are more tolerant of each other. At Pieta House we have helped more than 25,000 people since 2006. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we didn’t have to do it for another 10 years – to think of a time when suicide and self-harm aren’t options for people?”

On his trip, Brian hopes to visit Pieta House centres – including Pieta House South East (in Waterford), which opened its doors on Thursday 1 September - and the suicide bereavement centres that Pieta has been operating since July.

He will also happily pop into to any offices, companies and homes he is invited to along the way.

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The `Pieta Grand Tour’ will go from Lucan to the southeast coast, from Cork to Kerry, Limerick and Galway and finally back to Dublin.

Suicide takes 10 lives in Ireland each week. That’s 10 lives lost and 10 families bereaved. This isn’t good enough. Brian needs your support so that Pieta House can continue to provide life-saving services to those most in need.

To donate and keep Brian pedalling please go to https://pieta-grand-tour.everydayhero.com/ie/brian-higgins and give what you can – it’d mean a lot to Brian, to Pieta House but, most importantly of all, to the people who will use the service who we’ll never know.

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For updates, check www.twitter.com/PietaHouse #PietaGrandTour and www.facebook.com/pietahouse