CAN YOU HELP AND HOST A HOMESTAY FOR CYCLE AGAINST SUICIDE ANNUAL CYCLE 2018?

NEWTOWNABBEY, OPEN YOUR HEART AND HOME TO HELP BREAK THE CYCLE OF SUICIDE.

Cycle Against Suicide is seeking homestay provider support in Newtownabbey as part of the Northern Ireland leg of its annual cycle taking place from 28 April 2018 – 7 May 2018. Cycle Against Suicide is an initiative to raise awareness of the help and support networks that are available to people across the island of Ireland that are battling depression, self-harm, at risk of suicide or those bereaved by suicide.

Each year, Cycle Against Suicide brings together communities with different backgrounds and stories to help break the cycle of suicide. Since 2013, the event has seen over 15,000 cyclists take to the roads to help spread the message that ‘It’s OK not to feel OK; and It’s absolutely OK to ask for help’.

Central to the success of Cycle Against Suicide is the Homestay Programme. People throughout the island of Ireland welcome participants of the event into their homes every year, and each homestay host provides cyclists with a warm meal, a chance to freshen up, and a bed for the night. Approximately 1,500 homes opened their doors to host participants during last year’s event and feedback from homestay hosts indicates that this experience has been extremely rewarding, as it allows hosts to lend support in a very tangible way.

The official 2018 route schedule and map are now live and the cycle will pass through 5 counties in Northern Ireland, stopping in numerous locations along the route, rallying hope and support in localities throughout Northern Ireland.

Hazelwood Integrated College, Newtownabbey, is a host venue on the route and will facilitate a stop off and drop off point for cyclists and their bikes on the 30 April, as such, Cycle Against Suicide is seeking support and homestays in the Newtownabbey area, as well as at each of the following NI locations:

Newry 29 April

Newtownabbey 30 April

Dungannon 1 May

Omagh 2 May

Northern Ireland has the highest rate of suicide in the UK*. The latest regional figures on suicide revealed that more people have taken their own lives in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday agreement than were killed in political violence during the Troubles between 1969 and 1997**. So many families and communities devastated; so many lives cut short.

The power of the cycle and its message is something that brings families, communities, organisations, schools, individuals and cyclists of all abilities together with a common purpose of ending the cycle of suicide in Ireland and Northern Ireland today. Each year, Cycle Against Suicide aims to engage more and more communities to begin a conversation about mental health; about looking after ourselves and reaching out to each other.

Register as a homestay provider today and together, let’s break the cycle of suicide. Register your support at http://www.cycleagainstsuicide.com/get-involved/2018-cycle/

The 2018 Cycle Against Suicide Main Cycle takes place from 28 April to 7 May and will be visiting the following towns:

Start: Westmanstown, Dublin morning of April 28

Navan 28 April

Newry 29 April

Belfast 30 April

Dungannon 1 May

Omagh 2 May

Ballyshannon 3 May

Ballina 4 May

Carrick on Shannon 5 May

Mullingar 6 May

Finish: Dublin 7 May

*According to a 2016 report by the Office for National Statistics.

**Source: The Detail, based on an examination of 15 years of suicide data held by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) on suicide registration.