MISS Kerry 2023, Leah Galloway, has presented Kerry Mental Health Association with a cheque for €750 after nominating the organisation as her charity partner for the duration of her reign.

The first-year mental health nursing student at MTU Kerry raised over half of the money online via www.KerryMentalHealth.ie/donate while the balance came from a coffee morning at the Lakeside Café at Tralee Bay Wetlands on #TieDayFriday.

Leah, a proud Ballyheigue woman, explained why she’s so passionate about mental health: “I chose this course because I can help people who are very vulnerable. I’m looking forward to putting the theory into practice and develop on those skills I’ve learned in my first year. I chose Kerry Mental Health Association for my charity and I found it a really good journey. It was an amazing experience to see my community come together to support such an amazing cause.”

Well known fashion designer and fellow Ballyheigue-native, Don O’Neill was Leah’s special guest at the coffee morning which was well attended by her classmates, family, friends and regular customers of the Lakeside Café.

Leah intends to organise another fundraising event for Kerry Mental Health Association in 2024 which will involve the participation of fellow nursing students and others at MTU Kerry.

The General Manager of Kerry Mental Health Association, John Drummey, said: “We are honoured that Leah chose Kerry Mental Health Association as her charity partner for the year. She is passionate about supporting people with mental health challenges and it is fitting that she would link in with our organisation as a means to helping others. The money raised by Leah will go towards the overall #TieDayFriday campaign which will help fund the roll-out of free and affordable mental health first aid training in Kerry.”

Anyone who wishes to make an online donation to support the activities of Kerry Mental Health Association can do so by visiting www.KerryMentalHealth.ie/donate.