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Light bearers

Hazelwood walk (Photo: Malcolm McNally)

Over 1,200 members of London-Irish community took part in this year’s Darkness into Light walks in Cricklewood and Sunbury-on-Thames last week – all in fellowship with sufferers of depression and other mental illnesses.

In Cricklewood, the London walk set off from the Clayton Crown Hotel, Cricklewood for the sixth successive year.

This year it was led by TV and radio presenter Laura Whitmore.

A group of walkers at the Crown during the Cricklewood walk (Photo: Lucia Butler)

She was accompanied at the front by ‘the voice’ of TV scripted reality show Love Island, Iain Stirling, Catherine Hennessy of the mental health support group ICAP which, with Pieta House, is one of the beneficiaries, this year’s London Rose Gráinne Hawkes, and many others including hotel staff and members of the organising committee.

Laura Whitmore said afterwards: “It was a very powerful morning seeing the Irish diaspora getting together and uniting and such an honour to lead the walk in North London. Everyone had their own reasons for being there and having such a positive experience to help deal with such negative subjects was so uplifting and full of hope.”

Chair of the Darkness into Light London Walk Tara Cronin said: “We simply can’t believe the momentum that the walk is generating every year.”

Cricklewood walk starting line (Photo: Lucia Butler)

She thanked all volunteers from the marshals to the registry administrators to the t-shirt collection team.

In Sunbury, the Hazelwood walk saw an estimated crowd of 150 walkers do circuits of London Irish rugby club’s training grounds in what was described as a “super friendly atmosphere” whose participants arrived came to the walk directly from a black-tie event.

Liam Kearney, Chair of the Darkness into Light Sunbury on Thames Walk, said they hope to increase the number of participants to over 300 next year.

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