Resort’s message of hope

Show of support: Volunteers Anne Marie Campbell, Zita Arnold, and Paula Gilmartin

More than 100 Queenstowners will come together this weekend to show their support for those struggling with mental health.

The Lake Hayes Pavilion will be lit up with more than 400 candles for the ‘Darkness Into Light’ walk on Saturday.

Organised by locals Anne Marie Campbell and Daniel Sweeney, the event aims to raise money, and awareness, to fight back against suicide and self harm.

Campbell says feedback’s been “really positive” so far.

“If you can impact one person, it’s a good thing,” she says.

“Hopefully we can do something for the community.”

Walkers will start from Lake Hayes Pavilion at 6.30am, walking a 2.5km section of the Lake Hayes track and back again.

About 100 walkers have signed up so far, as well as 20 volunteers. The event’s capped at 200.

“If we do it again, hopefully we can build on it,” Campbell says.

The global ‘Darkness Into Light’ initiative started in Dublin in 2009, with 400 people taking part. By 2018 that had grown to more than 200,000 people across 16 countries.

It’s the first time the event will be held in Queenstown.

People can sign up at the Darkness Into Light website, $40 for adults, $9 for kids aged six-17. Under fives are free.