Noel doesn’t shy back from Slimathon bunker

IT’S a good thing that Noel Kelly is not too sensitive!

IT’S a good thing that Noel Kelly is not too sensitive!

One evening while sitting in Tullamore’s Central Hotel with members of the Golfing Society he was approached by Mary Carroll from the local Unislim group who suggested that he and his colleagues might like to consider a sponsored slimathon for a good cause!

Being good sports - in every sense of the word, Noel and his golfing pals played perfect ‘bunker shots’ and agreed to undertake a sponsored slimathon but only if it was for a local charity.

Noel’s wife Margaret suggested Midland Living Links.

Living Links is a vital support service for families and friends who have lost a loved one to suicide. Living Links is a national organisation which originated in Cloughjordan in North Tipp in 2001 when a small of group of people came together in a direct response of a suicide and devised a programme that would support those in the aftermath of suicide.

The Midlands branch was launched in April of 2008 and provides practical support and information to the four counties of Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath.

The support worker provides information concerning the funeral, inquest, what to say to children, what to say to the neighbours, how to connect to other services and most of all to be there as a friend.

As always, but particularly in these times of financial recession, funding for voluntary organisations is difficult to obtain. The money raised from the slimathon will help to train facilitators, run healing programmes and expand the service.

“The work of the many people who have taken the time to raise funds for the service is very much appreciated,” said local support worker Bernie Carroll.

“A very big thank you is extended to Mary Carroll of Unislim and Noel Kelly and the golfing society who lead this Slimathon and kindly nominated Midlands Living Links as the chosen charity. As most of us are aware suicide does not respect boundaries. No matter what a person’s social or economic status, religion, age, gender suicide strikes all,” added Bernie.

She concluded, “Warning signs are rarely given before the tragedy occurs leaving families, friends and workmates shocked and stunned in communites. Statistics continue to show that suicide remains a problem and there has been an enormous increase in suicide in the past year.”