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Senator Frances Black is looking forward to the 2021 RISE Foundation Big Dip swim challenge, which takes place this Sunday 10th of October 2021.

Participants are asked to fundraise, or to make a donation to the Rise Foundation, and then take a quick dip or a leisurely swim for RISE, wherever they are in Ireland or around the world.

The RISE Foundation is a registered charity founded by Senator Frances Black in 2009.  It is focused on family members of those with addictive behaviour (alcohol, drugs, gambling, food or sex addiction).  RISE (Recovery In a Safe Environment) is dedicated to helping family members free themselves from the stress and anxiety of having a loved one with addictive behaviour, and to understand the nature of addiction and the profound effects it has on relationships.

The money raised will help fund the foundation’s work in support of those who have family members or a loved one with an alcohol, drug or gambling problem. The registered charity was founded by Senator Frances Black in 2009 and provides therapy and other supports for people dealing with the addictive behaviour of others.

It is hoped people from all over Ireland will take part, swimming in rivers, lakes, pools or the sea, maybe with the family, their wild swimming buddies or pool pals, popular singer Frances Black says.

“The rise in popularity of sea swimming around our coasts was a feature of the Covid pandemic. Sadly, so too was an upsurge in addictive behaviours, as people tried to cope with lockdown, job loss and other challenges”, the singer and politician says.

The Big Dip challenge is a fun virtual fundraiser for people to complete, whenever and wherever suits, and at their own pace and target distance. All funds raised will make a tremendous difference to people struggling to cope with loved ones’ addiction issues, the organisers say.

Companies, sports clubs and social groups are also encouraged to get a group together for a Big Dip on Sunday 10th October, as a great team-building exercise in aid of a good cause.

There is information on the charity’s website, WWW.THERISEFOUNDATION.IE, and to participate or just contribute, people are asked to make a donation of €20 on the iDonate site WWW.IDONATE.IE

To fundraise for the Rise Foundation, swimmers can use the ‘start a fundraiser’ tab and ask friends and family for support. Taking photos of the Big Dip and sharing on social media, #dip4rise, also helps with contributions.

Ireland traditionally had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and other drugs that can only change through dialogue, understanding and practical support, Frances Black believes.

“I established the Rise Foundation after working as a therapist in a treatment centre for those with an alcohol, drug or gambling problem. It was there that I also met the family members. I realised that more support was needed for family members, who were often extremely anxious, worried and sometimes depressed about their loved ones in addiction.

“I saw the stress and heartache addictive behaviour causes in families. This experience inspired me to set-up a primary care organisation that would support family members in their feelings of powerlessness, heartache, stress and anxiety. The reality of addiction is that it doesn’t just destroy the person; it destroys relationships, self-worth, and the family unit”, she explains.

For more information on organising a swim for the 2021 RISE Foundation Big Dip, or donating, see their website or contact Brian Allen on 087 9831617.

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