Endurance Challenge in aid of Pieta House

Freezbrury, an organization which encourages people to jump into cold sea water every day for the month of February has raised almost 5,000 euro for Pieta House and is on target to raise at least 10,000 by the end of the month.

The idea began with Damien Browne, however the link with Pieta House came later. Last year roughly 40 people took part in the endurance test. However, only about 15 of those completed the challenge daily. This year, the event has almost 400 people signed up across Ireland and is set to raise 10,00 for the charity.

The event and its progress to a charitable organization began with a group of four men who took on Damien Browne’s challenge on their own, though this proved to be a struggle.

“We were struggling for about the first week or so and more and more people started joining us and then we realized that it was much easier when you have a few other people around you so that’s why we decided to bring Pieta in-the whole concept of overcoming a challenge that’s really difficult is much easier when you have a good support system around you”, said Fiachra Coyne, who was one of those who created the link between Freezbrury and the Pieta House Charity.

Freezbrury begins on the first of the month, when those involved must submerge themselves in the water for one minute though, the duration changes with the days of the month. On February 18th we visited the guys in Blackrock where the duration was a challenging 18 minutes.

“The thing with depression is a lot of people who don’t experience it don’t know what it’s like but everybody can experience that physical pain of the cold water and when you think you can’t actually get through it and overcome it, but you can with the people around you”, said Diego Diamond who is also heavily involved in the promotion and organization of Freezbrury.

The challenge takes places across different shores all over Ireland and promotes a sense of community amongst those involved in different areas, which reflects the support services available at Pieta House.

“I used to play football and soccer up to a year ago so like everybody is the same size, shape, weight, age whereas this community that were in like we’ve had a 78 year-old woman come in with us, we’ve had a seven year old young lad come with us. It’s like you’re big, you’re small, you’re old- it doesn’t make any odds so it’s like its brilliant to just have that community and that support and its really, really cool”, said Mr Diamond.

Fiachra Coyne and Diego Diamond are heavily involved in the promotion and organization of Freezbrury and never miss a day in the water.

“I’m not saying people look up to us to inspire them, but we do motivate them, especially at home, to carry and that it will hurt but there’s huge strength and support around you and you can achieve something you may have previously thought impossible”, said Mr Coyne.

Pieta House provides therapy for people who are in suicidal distress, engaging in self-harm or have been breaved by suicide. Speaking on the recent death of Caroline Flack, Mr Diamond made reference to the importance of charities such as Pieta.

“I think it’s always important obviously, but when it’s in the media and everybody’s talking about it, like even coming in now I changed the radio station a couple of times and they’re all talking about it. It’ obviously a horrible thing especially in the circumstances of that and online bullying but you know, it’s always there and it happens a lot. We’re not hearing it on the radio for local people, but it’s always happening and it’s important that we do talk about it”, he said.

“That’s the whole idea behind our logo as well- it’s an iceberg so basically, I think 90% of an iceberg is hidden beneath the surface so people hide a lot of their feelings which are often complex and overwhelming”, added Mr Coyne.

Freezbrury is a physical and psychological challenge that will take place every day throughout February to raise funds and awareness for Pieta House. To donate to the cause, click here. https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/freezbrury-2020-for-pieta-house

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