Updated: 08/03/17 : 07:35:24
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Havin' a Laugh Fest for Mental Health

Tickets for the Havin’ a Laugh Adventure Fest, which will take place in Sligo on June 30th – July 2nd, went on sale this month.

The charity event brings together the most exciting and diverse range of adventure and wellness activities happening in one county over one weekend.

The festival is run by the Rennafix Group, a local not-for-profit organisation, which pays for people in mental health counselling to carry out life-enhancing activities.

Both the event and the charity were inspired by the death of much-loved Sligo adventure enthusiast, Paul Rennick. Paul, who was a well-known figure in Sligo, took his own life in August 2011 while living in Australia.

On the first anniversary of his death, his fiancée, Blaithin Sweeney, established the Havin’ a Laugh Adventure Fest in his memory. She wanted to do something to mark Paul’s anniversary, but also create an event which might help others struggling with mental health issues.

Activities — from beach horseriding and freediving to surfing and yoga — will be happening all over the county and the weekend culminates in an outdoor live music event at the festival’s permanent site at Annaghmore estate on Saturday, July 1. Speakers at Annaghmore will include legendary local surfer Easkey Britton, with the full line-up to be announced closer to the time.

“The festival is a weekend of fun, sport and adventure that has a light focus on mental health. Its aim is to raise awareness of the positive benefits that living a healthy and engaged life can have on your mental health,” says Blaithin.

“We believe that taking part in wellness and adventure activities are of huge benefit to people who have mental health issues. This festival aims to showcase the amazing range of adventure and wellness activities available in Sligo and the North West as well as allow people to discuss mental health in a relaxed and open environment.”

                                           Legendary local surfer Easkey Britton

Havin’ a Laugh is a not-for-profit event and all proceeds go back into the community through the Rennafix Group, which provides adventure and wellness vouchers to people in therapy for mental health related reasons.

“The event could not take place without the amazing work of so many volunteers and the very generous donations of time and activities by a range of activity providers across the North West,” Blaithin added.

Weekend adventure and wellness packages are available (see below) with a family afternoon taking place on Saturday, July 1 at Annaghmore. Costing just €10, with children U12 free, it which will include guest speakers, Reiki, Salsa, Seaweed foot massage, Yoga, Drumming, Wikderness Trails, Superslide and children’s games.

Saturday evening will see a number of live bands and special guests take to the purpose-built outdoor stage with an evening outdoor cinema taking place in the family campsite. Tickets, which include camping, are €20. Buses will be running to and from the Riverside Hotel to the festival site all day on Saturday.

Some of the packages – which all include entry to the outdoor live music entertainment - now on sale on www.rennafix.com include:

·      Digital Detox Adventure Challenge: Friday June 30 – Sat July 1. An overnight adventure challenge which features a 5km evening hike, shelter making, storytelling and overnight camping followed the next morning by a 70ft abseil drop; another hike and a cross-country mountain bike. Valued at €180; Festival Price €120 with early-bird prices of €80 before April 30.

·      Positive Vibes Saltwater Package: Sat July 1. Early-morning beach yoga at Strandhill followed by breakfast at Shells, meditation, a two-hour surf lesson and foot massage.

·      See www.rennafix.com for the full range of packages and activities available.