Jack Fitzgerald from Faugheen is a member of the "Jump for Elisha" skydive team.
Faugheen teenager Jack Fitzgerald is part of a team of 9 local people who have come together to skydive this Sunday to raise funds for the Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland charity in memory of 14 year-old Elisha Gault, who died tragically in March.
The challenging tandem skydive will happen at the Irish Parachute Club, Clonbullogue, Edenderry Co. Offaly after 20 minutes of training.
The team named "Jump for Elisha" includes friends and family of the late Elisha Gault from Carrick-on-Suir. Elisha’s mother Grainne Gault is the driving force behind the skydive in aid of the YSPI charity.
Jack, a student at Callan CBS, was a good friend of Elisha’s and is looking forward to doing the parachute jump in her memory.
He explained that all in the ‘Jump for Elisha’ team, who are made up of her family and friends, have been overwhelmed with the sponsorship and support from their families, friends and the local community who have dug deep to help raise funds for the charity.
Jack has so far raised €1070 and he sincerely thanks everyone including family overseas who have generously sponsored him.
Students at Comeragh College where Elisha attended school, also held a bake sale recently in the and raised €1400. Talking openly about the real issues with young people suffering from mental health problems, Jack emphasised that if everyone could support charities such as YSPI it could help alleviate problems in the future.
He spoke of how the team has supported each other with the skydive fundraiser and how important it is for young people to talk to each other and share difficulties in an attempt to find solutions.
‘This will be a great experience in raising awareness of young people’s issues and will hopefully help remove the stigma that surrounds mental health. Young people need support systems in place.’
Jack also spoke of the waiting lists for people to see specialised health professionals and how over time they may feel isolated and that their problems are not seen as important. The ‘Jump for Elisha’ teams includes: Jack Fitzgerald, Faugheen; Joe Ryan, Owning; Elisha’s mother Grainne Gault, sisters Bhrianna Gault and Chloe-Nicole King; Lee Lanigan, Darragh Gibbs and Graham Bysouth from Carrick-on-Suir and Nicole Vaughan from Rathgormack.
Anyone wishing to sponsor the event can Text YSPI SFL 3249 to 50300 and €4 will be donated from the phone credit, or log on to Http://bit.ly/2KHODTY and follow the sponsorship updates. Also a sponsorship card is available in The Junction Bar, Carrick-on-Suir.