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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Darkness into Light returns to mark the most important sunrise of the year

Candles on ground spelling HOpe

Darkness Into Light, the annual fundraising event organised by Pieta, and proudly supported by Electric Ireland is set to take place on Saturday May 6 and will see thousands of people across Northern Ireland come together to mark the most important sunrise of the year.

Launched today, March 29, Pieta and Electric Ireland were joined by representatives from 14 local mental health charities to invite people across Northern Ireland to sign up to take part in this year’s fundraising event.

Taking place on the morning of Saturday May 6, people can either participate in one of the 16 organised walks, or run, swim or cycle in their own time or even take on a special challenge to fundraise for their local communities.

As part of this year’s campaign, Electric Ireland Darkness into Light ambassador and Belfast based medical doctor turned artist Anna McKeever has launched her own fundraising effort and has created an original oil painting entitled Cavehill at Sunrise which she has donated to Darkness into Light.

People are invited to enter the ‘iDonate’ Darkness into Light raffle to be in with a chance to win this very special painting. One hundred percent of the money raised from the piece will be donated to mental health charities working to support those impacted by suicide in local communities across Northern Ireland.

The bespoke piece showcases one of Northern Ireland’s most recognisable landscapes and depicts the overriding sense of hope, strength and light of a vibrant sunrise stretching out over Belfast City. The work, measuring 100 x 100cm, has been framed in a wooden box frame, hand finished in zoffany ink and is available to view in Anna’s Ormeau Road gallery now until the draw closes at 4.15am on Saturday May 6.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday May 9.

Darkness into light graphic.

Speaking at the launch, Darkness into Light ambassador, Anna McKeever said:

“I initially trained as medical doctor and spent my career working in psychiatry and public health, before becoming a full-time artist. I am very aware of the impact mental illness can have, both on a professional and personal level. I am extremely proud to be an ambassador for Darkness into Light. 

"I have created a bespoke oil painting for this year’s campaign, featuring Cavehill at sunrise. Fundraise with me on the Darkness into Light iDonate page to be in with a chance of winning this original artwork.”

To help Anna fundraise for Darkness into Light and be in with a chance of winning this special piece of artwork visit:

Bill Coyle, NI Residential Manager at Electric Ireland commented:

“For more than a decade, Electric Ireland has proudly supported Pieta and its partner charities in the delivery of Darkness Into Light. This special sunrise event offers hope and solidarity to those impacted by suicide and self-harm across communities in Northern Ireland.

"We are delighted to welcome Anna on board as an Ambassador and are extremely grateful to her for the beautiful, bespoke and unique contribution she has made to this year’s campaign. With just over a month to go, we would like to welcome everyone to sign up, fundraise and get involved in Darkness Into Light to help raise vital funds for suicide prevention services in local communities.”

Sixteen walks have been organsied at various locations across Norther ireland, they will begin in darkness and continue through to sunrise; symbolising the journey from despair to hope.

Stephanie Manahan, CEO, Pieta said:

“Darkness into Light is an opportunity for all communities to bring people together in the spirit of solidarity, comfort, and compassion to help people at a very local level and to raise awareness on mental health and the impact of suicide and self-harm. It is an opportunity to raise vital funds for a number of mental health charities in your local communities. There are many ways to take part in Darkness into Light and raise money for your local mental health charity; whether it’s taking part in one of the 15 local walks across Northern Ireland or by running, cycling or swimming we would encourage everyone to fundraise for your local charity and get up on the 6 May to join us for what is the most important sunrise of the year.”

Sign up for Darkness Into Light Ballymena and join with others for the most important sunrise of the year on May 6th at 4.15am at the Ecos Nature Park.

CLICK HERE to sign up.

CLICK HERE to visit the Darkness Into Light Ballymena Facebook event page.

To find out where your nearest walk is, to sign up and fundraise visit

Follow the conversation at #DIL2023


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