In 2009, in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, 400 people set off on the inaugural Darkness Into Light 5km walk to raise funds for Pieta, a suicide prevention charity in Ireland. From small beginnings, the movement has continued to grow, and now there are over 200,000 participants in Darkness Into Light each year. Over 32 venues now take part, in 15 countries over 4 continents!
Each year the walk provides an opportunity for people to connect with their local community and to bring hope to people who have been impacted by suicide. Our team of dedicated volunteers, return year on year to make the event a success and to help us all continue to raise awareness and hope in the global fight against suicide and self-harm.
Since Darkness Into Light began, supporters have helped raise almost €29 million, which has enabled Suicide Prevention Charities keep their doors and 24/7 helplines open for people in crisis, free of charge.
In 2012, the first international event took place in London, and since then international partner charities, from Seoul to Spain and New Zealand to the Netherlands, have benefited from an investment of over €3.5 million in local mental health support services. EFPG initially brought the walk into Gibraltar back in 2020, and since then we have continued to build support, thanks to everyone that has taken part in the last two years, we are incredibly proud to be able to confirm that Gibraltar is now a recognized country for the event and money raised will go to our partner Charity Gibsams, as we part in the global act of solidarity for people affected by suicide and self-harm..
This year we have invited the whole community to help us celebrate this achievement. From sports centers to schools, there is something that everyone can do to help raise awareness and potentially save a life. We are especially grateful to the children of Loreto Convent who painted pebbles with messages of hope as part of Mental Health Awareness week. These pebbles will then be distributed around Gibraltar the day before the walk, to sprinkle a little joy all over our community and brighten someone’s day. A reminder that a little bit of love can go a very long way.
There are lots of ways that you can raise awareness, from creating bunting, arranging a cake sale, taking on a steward position on the day, or simply placing candles in your windows the night before the walk. We are also looking for corporate sponsors to help with providing refreshments at the halfway points. If you would like to get involved, please contact Scarlett at EFPG and she will be happy to help you get started.
The walk itself will be taking place on Saturday the 6th of May. We will be meeting in Casemates at 5.30am and then splitting into groups to embark on one of the two routes we have created for this year’s event. The first one will take walkers up the nature reserve and med steps coming then looping back down past the sky walk to finish back in Casemates. The second one will head off along Irish town, dropping into the Commonwealth park and then heading straight along to Europa point to watch the sunrise before looping back passing Loreto school and the Alameda botanical gardens, along Main Street and finishing at Casemates. This second route was created so that everyone can take part, furry friends included, in what we hope will be our best year yet.
We will all meet up at the end of the walk at the Little Rock Cafe in Casemates, where participants can enjoy a well deserved breakfast sponsored by EFPG.
Online registrations for the event are due to open in March, however we are encouraging all those who wish to take part to like and follow the Darkness Into Light Gibraltar social media pages, so they can keep up to date with all of our progress as we prepare to create another global sunrise moment and join together to be the light against the dark.
Big excited hugs from the Darkness Into Light Gibraltar Team