With the absence of St Patrick’s Day festivities for the second year in a row, many people across Ireland are in need of something to lift their spirits.
In an attempt to make up for the lack of St Patrick’s Day festivities, Facebook’s Positivity Parade shows Ireland’s most heartwarming moments this year.
Inspired by the community spirit shown by people across Ireland during the pandemic, former Fair City star Aoibhin Garrihy worked with the team to put the virtual parade together in aid of mental health charity Aware.
Spreading positivity – bringing people together virtually
In the absence of social contact, people have turned to the internet to stay in contact with friends and family from outside their home.
Inspired by the use of technology to stay connected, The Positivity Parade showing Ireland’s most heartwarming moments this year is an attempt to bring people together online when they asked to stay apart in real life.
Facebook Ireland has pledged to donate €1 to Aware for every picture and video shared.
A mental health crisis – loneliness and isolation
After a year that has been defined by social distancing and isolation, combatting loneliness across Ireland is more important than ever.
Since March 2020, over a quarter of a million people in Ireland have joined hobby and interest groups on Facebook in an attempt to forge some connection online.
Speaking on the launch of Facebook Ireland’s Positivity Parade, Aware ambassador Garrihy told the Irish Mirror, “We’ve had an amazing response from people across Ireland!
“Thank you to everyone who took the time to take part in the Facebook Positivity Parade. It was such a joy to watch the parade video and seeing everyone come together online to create something amazing.
“By taking part, you have helped to raise much-needed funds for Aware, a charity that works tirelessly to help and support the most vulnerable in our society.”
Spreading joy – Positivity Parade shows Ireland’s most heartwarming moments
Initiatives have taken place across the country throughout the year to distract people from what has, at times, felt like a year of constant bad news.
Trevor O’Donoghue, who runs the Focus on Happiness Group, a community of people who practise mindful photography, said,
“What started off as a small group of family and friends grew to over 5,000 members, known as ‘The Happy Snappers’ within a matter of months.
“It’s become more than taking pictures; it’s a positive online space for people to come and share what’s going on in their lives.
“People are connecting and being kind to one another at a time when we really need it most.”
Stephen Butterly, Head of Fundraising at Aware, thanked everyone who got involved in the parade, saying,
“The Facebook Positivity Parade has highlighted the incredible resilience of the nation, sharing those special moments that have contributed positively to people’s mental wellbeing over the past year.
“Every single euro makes a difference when contributing towards the support of another person or delivery of another positive mental health programme.”
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