Aoibhin Garrihy has revealed why she and her husband set up their new charity.
The actress and husband John Burke recently set up Elevate, a charity offering wellness workshops to young people in secondary schools in a bid to encourage young people to live their lives as fully as possible, both now and in the future.
It will initially be based in Clare from September 2017 but Aoibhin hopes to introduce it in more areas.
Speaking exclusively to VIP Aoibhin said: “There seems to be a real craving for it now. The response has been overwhelming. Initially we thought it would just be country Clare because that’s where we live but it looks like it has potential to be a nationwide thing.
In May, John became the first Clare man to summit Mount Everest and Aoibhin said his passion for climbing was part of the inspiration.
“It’s very close to our own hearts, John has a real passion for young people.”
“He struggled to find something he was good at when he was growing up in terms of extra-curricular as GAA wasn’t for him and he was living in rural Ireland. It was only in his late 20s that he discovered the mountains and found what he loved, and he went on to summit Everest, so it’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it!”
The charity focuses on mindfulness and mental health, something that is close to the couple’s hearts.
“It’s something our families have battled with and we’ve been hit by a tragedy so it’s something that’s close to the bone that we wanted to address,” she explained.
The Dancing with the Stars and Fair City star said they are aiming to tackle young people’s obsession with gadgets.
“In my own drama school in Clare, the power of make-believe and imagination and communication is lacking a little bit,” she explained.
“When the kids come in and all have these things in their hand and the room is so quiet, you think, ‘how is this drama class?’ There should be fun and camaraderie, but instead they’re just sitting there on snapchat! So we need to something about this.”
“Mindfulness is so big now, getting students and children to live in the moment is the aim. They are always looking for more because of the instagram/snapchat phase, they aren’t content in where they are right now.”
Aoibhin is judging the g hotel Best Dressed Lady competition as part of the Galway Races on Ladies Day, Thursday 3 August.