Mizen head to Mallin head in aid of addiction

TWO addiction counsellors from the Aislinn centre are cycling from Mizen head to Malin head as part of a fund-raising drive for the adolescent addiction centre.

TWO addiction counsellors from the Aislinn centre are cycling from Mizen head to Malin head as part of a fund-raising drive for the adolescent addiction centre.

Fenton Leen and Justin Campbell started training about two weeks ago in preparation for the 620km cycle but they are confident that they have the levels of fitness required to finish the charity cycle.

Mr Leen admitted that he had been looking for a way to get back into cycling and the challenge seemed like a perfect opportunity. He said “I used to do a good bit of cycling and I bought a bike to cycle across France but I ended up working in Africa so I never used it. This seemed like a good way to get back into cycling.”

Justin Campbell, who hurled for Galway, said his biggest fear was that Fenton would over take him. The goal is to raise e2,000 for the Aislinn centre and he is hoping his ex-GAA adversary’s in Kilkenny will come forward and sponsor the cause.

The Aislinn centre was established in 1998 and remains the only centre of its type in Ireland. It provides a drug-free residential programme to help adolescents (15-21 years old) with their fight against addiction. Aislinn promotes the value of the 12 Step Alcoholics Anonymous Total Abstinence Programme through group therapy, one-to one counselling, art therapy and is supported by a two year aftercare programme. The treatment is built on genuine respect and dignity in a structured, yet caring environment, fostering self-worth and supporting the emotional, mental, social, recreational and spiritual development of each individual.

Last year the centre saw 109 adolescents both boys and girls from around the country go through the programme and the demand is increasing.

Aislinn recognise family as a very valuable part of the addiction healing process and with the establishment of Croi Nua, it is committed to supporting them in reclaiming their families. Croi Nua is a respite programme that helps families and concerned with issues such as grief, suicide, stress, and living with chemical abuse.

Aislinn is a not-for-profit organisation and relies on statutory funding, funding from private health insurers and money raised through fundraising events. This week will see Denny Mulvihill, whose son successfully went through the Aislinn programme, Justin Campbell and Fenton Leen, both counsellors at the Aislinn Centre and several others from around the country cycling from Mizen to Malin head. The cyclists with be starting at Mizen Head passing through towns such as Millstreet, Charleville, Limerick, Nenagh, Birr, Athlone, Longford, Enniskillen, Castlederg, Strabane, Carndonagh and arriving at Malin Head on Saturday 18th June.