A cycle being held in aid of the local Jigsaw project aims to raise vital funds for the organisation and heighten awareness about the role local communities can play in safeguarding young people’s health and wellbeing.
Jigsaw Galway, which is based in Mary Street, is part of a national programme which aims to provide more accessible and responsive services to young people aged 15 to 25 years who are experiencing difficult times.
John Fitzmaurice, its local programme manager, says it hopes to raise €50,000 from the cycle which takes place on Saturday April 10.
“We hope to have 200 people taking part. Teams of four will need to raise €200 - €50 per person. People will cycle to Galway city from four distinct routes - Carraroe, Milltown, Mountbellew and Kilchreest.
“These have been carefully selected to illustrate the breadth and diversity of our community in Galway. Each route will merge in Eyre Square where entertainment and activities for all the community will take place. In support of the event, players (in teams of four ) from the Galway football, hurling, and rugby teams will race against each other!”
He says mental health is everyone’s responsibility. “The Jigsaw Galway Community Cycle will highlight the role that the community plays in supporting young people on a day-to-day basis.
“The cycle aims to create awareness of the strengths and resources that exist within our communities. It is a symbolic event and is designed to highlight all that is good about our community - people cycle from different parts of the county converging in Eyre Square where we put together a jigsaw outlining all the services, supports and resources within our community. Each team that enters will bring a jigsaw piece from their community.
“Communities have a vital role to play in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of young people. We can all make a difference from the teacher in the school to the basketball coach, to a neighbour keeping an eye out for a concerned friend.
“The cycle is open to everyone, sports clubs, social clubs, groups of friends, families, businesses, etc.”
He says cycling is something that anyone can do. “It’s fun, helps keep you fit and is good for the environment. Remember regular cyclists are as fit as an average person 10 years younger, live two years longer than non-cyclists and breathe in less pollution from traffic than car drivers.”