Leinster Rugby & Pieta Partnership for March

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Leinster Rugby has today announced Pieta as its latest charity affiliate as part of its charity partner programme for the 2020/2021 season.

With the last twelve months taking a toll on many people’s health and well-being, both organisations will come together to shine a light on mental health and raise awareness of the supports and services offered by Pieta.

For the month of March, Leinster Rugby will lend its digital support to Pieta and its endeavors. Pieta was suggested as a charity affiliate by Life Style Sports, Leinster Rugby’s exclusive retail partner.

Leinster Rugby will use its social media channels to drive the conversation around mental health and highlight the vital work that Pieta does in communities around Ireland.

During 2020, Pieta’s qualified counsellors received 70,000 calls and texts to its 24hr crisis helpline and textline. As 80% of Pieta’s funding comes from the public, their support is vital to help continue this lifesaving work.

Pieta, the national suicide prevention charity, provides in-person counselling in 20 centres across Ireland. It offers free counselling to those suffering from suicidal ideation or engaging in self-harm. It also operates a Suicide Bereavement Counselling Service and offers counselling, therapy, and support to those bereaved by suicide.

It has helped over 60,000 people across Ireland since its inception.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Pieta has continued to offer in-person support and face-to-face appointments. It has operated a free 24-hour crisis helpline and text service throughout. Additionally, it has also provided free video counselling services for those unable to access in-person services during lockdown.

Speaking about the partnership with Leinster Rugby, Elaine Austin, CEO of Pieta, said; “The last year has been challenging for all of us. For those who have found themselves experiencing suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm, it has been especially difficult. That’s why we are delighted to partner with Leinster Rugby to help raise awareness of the supports that are available for those who are struggling and to combat the stigma around mental health.

“Every day, we receive calls from people who feel alone and afraid. Pieta is committed to listening to these people, offering them support and showing that there is light at the end of the tunnel.


“With the support of Leinster Rugby, we are urging the public to continue to look out for one another and to check in with loved ones who may be feeling low. Anyone who is in need of help and support is encouraged to freephone 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444.”

On behalf of Leinster Rugby, Marcus Ó Buachalla, who manages the charity programme, said; “We are proud to have Pieta on board as our charity affiliate for the month of March and we thank the team in Life Style Sports for their help in that process. We very much look forward to lending our support to Pieta over the coming weeks.

“Now, more than ever, it is essential that we mind ourselves and each other. Pieta works to support those in their darkest hour and offers hope to people when they need it most. At Leinster Rugby, we hope to highlight the indispensable work they do all over Ireland and remind people that it’s okay to ask for help.”


Mark Stafford, the CEO of Life Style Sports, said, “We at Life Style Sports are delighted to partner with Leinster Rugby in choosing their charity affiliate for March, and Pieta were an obvious choice for us. The work Pieta do throughout the year is invaluable, and now more than ever their support has become a vital asset to those in need.

“We as a brand were delighted to take part in Darkness into Light in 2020, from our store team members to our Brand Centre team we came together, albeit apart to help shine a light on the work Pieta do and raise the vital funds needed to help support their work. We look forward to taking part again this year and encourage all Leinster Rugby fans to do so too.”

Like all of the charities selected, Pieta was selected by Leinster Rugby after a consultation process involving the leadership group of the men, women’s and Academy teams and consultation with our premium sponsors and partners and the Official Leinster Supporters Club.

Two premium partners of Leinster Rugby, Bank of Ireland and BearingPoint, have also pledged their support to the charities chosen.

Bank of Ireland have confirmed that their Player of the Month Award donation will now be made to the monthly charity affiliate, rather than the player in question, a move that is also supported by the Leinster Rugby players.

In addition, BearingPoint have also agreed to make a donation to each charity partner chosen by Leinster Rugby in lieu of support normally provided to the club pre-COVID.

For more information, please visit www.pieta.ie

Further information about Pieta and the Leinster Rugby Charity Affiliate Programme:

  • Across 20 centres in Ireland, Pieta offers free counselling to those suffering from suicidal ideation and to people who are engaging in self-harm.
  • Pieta operates a Suicide Bereavement Counselling Service providing free counselling, therapy and support to individuals, couples, families, and children who have been bereaved by suicide.
  • Staff are fully qualified and provide a professional one-to-one therapeutic service.
  • To avail of Pieta services, which are free of charge, please visit www.pieta.ie for all centre contact details.
  • Pieta provides 24/7 support – if you are suicidal, self-harming or bereaved you can contact Pieta 24/7 via the Freephone crisis helpline on 1800 247 247, you can also text HELP to 51444 (standard message rates apply).
  • Pieta is the fourth charity affiliate announced by Leinster Rugby and will be supported by Leinster Rugby for the month of March
    Another charity will be announced for April.
  • Women’s Aid (November), Debra Ireland (December), numerous local causes supported by Bank of Ireland (January) and ALONE (February) have received Leinster Rugby support so far.
  • The selection process for all 12 charities includes the Leinster Rugby players, Leinster Rugby sponsors and partners and also the Official Leinster Supporters Club (OLSC).

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