Penneys Wexford has joined forces with Talk To Tom in a joint fundraising, education and training campaign.
The clothing giant’s Wexford town store has named #talktotom as their charity partner of the year and have already raised €1900 for the Gorey based mental health group.
The team at Penneys Main St raised a whopping €900 on December 19 with their friend and family evening - whilst their parent company Primark have pledged an additional €1000.
There is also a number of exciting fundraisers, information days and suicide prevention training days scheduled for 2020.
Staff members at the megastore began life saving QPR suicide intervention training on February 2 with Talk To Tom with further dates scheduled.
Speaking of the partnership Store manager Damien McLoone said the company is delighted to be associated with Talk To Tom.
“I attended the QPR training session with Ray from Talk to Tom alongside several of my colleagues from our Wexford & Waterford stores on February 2.
"We have huge interest from the rest of our colleagues to attend the QPR training session, not only in our store but in other Penneys stores also," said Mr McLoone.
"The impact it had on all people in attendance and on me personally was massive. Listening to Ray’s personal experiences and taking on board all the information given has really changed the way I look at things.
"It gave me the tools and the confidence to know I could help someone in a suicide crisis and keep them safe. Attending this course could literally be a life saver,” added the mega-outlet manager.
“We are delighted here in Penneys Wexford to be associated with our chosen Charity Partner, Talk To Tom," Mr McLoone added.
"The work Talk To Tom does locally and also throughout Ireland is so important and we are honoured to be able to help in whatever way we can.
"It is great to see so many people talking about and taking care of their mental health.
"The support and training Talk to Tom offers is priceless and we are so happy we can help them continue to do this.
"We all admire and appreciate all the work the volunteers at Talk to Tom do for our local community," he added.
"Our colleagues are excited to continue planning events over the coming months to help raise funds for Talk to Tom, while also raising awareness here in Wexford.”
Talk To Tom CEO Ray Cullen has said the organisation is delighted that Penneys Wexford have chosen them as their charity partner for 2020.
"We are absolutely delighted that Penneys have selected us as their charity partner for 2020, and we are even more delighted that some staff members will be taking part in QPR Training.
"It is wonderful that so many big and wonderful organisations such as Penneys and Kerry Foods are taking mental health seriously," he said.
"We simply can't thank Damien and the team at Penneys Wexford enough for their help and support also.
"We are a completely volunteer driven organisation and every penny we make goes directly into funding our services," he added.
"What makes us unique is that none of our team takes a wage or salary from Talk To Tom, meaning every cent raised goes into services."
"Without the help of people like the team in Penneys Wexford - our doors simply wouldn't stay open.
"As a very small organisation we rely solely on the kindness of others to keep the lights on. This is often a struggle as larger organisations often pay PR firms massive amounts of money, alongside paying professional fundraisers.
"We simply don't have the budget for this - but even if we did, it is not where our money would go."
*Talk To Tom volunteers will be in Penneys Wexford this weekend Saturday Feb 22 and Sunday Feb 23. Call by, say hello and have a chat about what we do. The wonderful folks in store will also be raising awareness by wearing our t-shirts and donations can be given at the tills via our counter top boxes.
What is QPR Training ?
QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognise the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.
How is QPR like CPR?:
Both are interventions. Much of the world is familiar with CPR — short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation — an emergency medical intervention created in 1957 by Peter Safar. The process is designed to stabilize people who aren’t breathing or breathing intermittently and who may be in cardiac arrest until the person can reach a hospital or other care.
Similarly, QPR is an an emergency mental health intervention for suicidal persons created in 1995 by Paul Quinnett. An abbreviation for Question, Persuade and Refer, the intent is also to identify and interrupt the crisis and direct that person to the proper care.
Both are part of a "Chain of Survival": Both CPR and QPR are part of systems designed to increase the chance of survival in the event of a crisis.
As a QPR-trained Gatekeeper you will learn to:
Recognise the warning signs of suicide
Know how to offer hope
Know how to get help and save a life