Mary and Kate Leneghan get ready to dash for Aware.

Dash, dance or prance for Aware in Offaly and Westmeath this Christmas!

In the run up to Christmas this year, why not do something to support your own well-being whilst helping people impacted by depression and bipolar disorder by taking part in the 17th annual Aware Christmas 5K.

From Friday December 9, to Sunday December 11, people in Offaly and Westmeath and all over the country are being encouraged to come together physically or virtually to be part of this fun, festive and healthy event to support Aware’s vital services.

You can walk, jog, run or hike in your favourite 5k route anywhere in the country at a time of your choice over the event weekend, and share your efforts and your support on social media using the hashtag #WeAreAware.

Those who want to get into the festive spirit of the Aware Christmas 5K are encouraged to dress up.

So, whether it’s a nod to Santa with a hat, a Christmas jumper to keep you warm, or a full-on costume with bells and lights, you’ll be guaranteed to bring some fun to your run!

The annual Aware Christmas 5k is one of the charity’s most important fundraising events of the year.

Aware, which was established in 1985, is the national organisation providing free support, education, and information for people impacted by depression, bipolar disorder, and related mood conditions.

In 2021, 29,000 people directly benefited from Aware’s support services, and a further over 8,000 people took part in education programmes facilitated by Aware.

Olivia and Isabel Phillips get ready to dash.

Stephen Butterly, Head of Fundraising at Aware, said by taking part in the Aware Christmas 5K, you can raise vital funds to help us be there for the hundreds of thousands of people across Ireland impacted by depression and bipolar disorder.

"It’s so important that we all look after our mental health. So, taking the time to walk or run or your own, with family or friends, this December, will give people the chance to take a break from the busy pre-Christmas period whilst also helping people in their community who need some support,” commented Mr Butterly.

The Aware Christmas 5K is proudly supported by Cadbury. Commenting on the partnership, which is now in its 6th year, senior brand manager with Cadbury Ireland, Úna Morrison said they were delighted to continue to support the Aware Christmas 5K.

"Many of our teams will be taking part and we are encouraging everyone to be part of something special that will make a real difference to people’s lives this Christmas. "Over the years that we have partnered with Aware we have seen just how valuable their work and support is. We look forward to seeing people all over the country taking this opportunity to get out and get active, while supporting a very important cause.”

Corporate organisations are also encouraged to get involved, with the event providing a fun way to bring the team together this Christmas, while supporting an important cause.

Online registration is now open at at a cost of €25 per person. Each participant will receive a custom medal that doubles as a Christmas tree decoration and a treat from event sponsor Cadbury.

If you are impacted by depression, bipolar disorder or other mood related conditions, you can contact Aware’s free support line 7 days a week from 10am to 10pm on 1800 80 48 48.

For more information on Aware or to register for their 2022 virtual Christmas 5K fundraiser, visit #WeAreAware