UUP MLA Robbie Butler makes festive splash for mental health charity

UUP MLA Robbie Butler makes festive splash for mental health charity

Robbie Butler was among dozens of people who braved the elements at Crawfordsburn Beach in Co Down on Sunday. The Lagan Valley MLA teamed up with pals to take part in the Festive Sea Splash for Action Mental Health NI. Mr Butler described it as “a mission to tackle and transform” mental health services here before taking the plunge wearing only a pair of swimming shorts and a Santa hat. “I have been the party’s spokesperson on mental health since 2016 and I keep in touch with all the organisations and charities and try to raise awareness if I can,” he told the Belfast Telegraph. “I have friends who do open water swimming, I’ve always wanted to try it and why not raise a couple of pounds.”Asked how it was, the elected representative said “baltic!””The air temperature was very cold, almost zero,” Mr Butler explained. “I thought that would make the sea temperature more palatable, but it didn’t.” Mr Butler has taken to social media to share evidence of the “chilly dip”. Deputy UUP leader and MLA Robbie Butler takes part in Festive Splash for mental health charity.“Sooo @joanne_sansome here’s the evidence of our chilly dip for @amhNI today at Crawfordsburn. Bracingly brilliant volunteers braving the seasons chilly air and water,” he posted on X. “Fair play to @linseygibson Vicky Trimble and the ever FAB @iamfifig for going above and beyond today to get some video evidence.” Meanwhile dozens of swimmers took part in the annual Polar Plunge event organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council which partnered with the PSNI and the Policing and Community Safety. The Portrush fundraiser was held in support of the Special Olympics money going to help sports, leadership, and health programmes for athletes from clubs across Northern Ireland.Festive Splash raises money for Action Mental Health NI in Crawfordsburn on Sunday.Local mayor Steven Callaghan was delighted to welcome the event to Portrush.“Now in its 21st year, [it] provides valuable support for Special Olympics Ireland athletes, many of whom are from the Borough,” he said prior to participants entering the water. Ulster Regional Director of Special Olympics Ireland, Shaun Cassidy said the challenge of getting “Freezin for a Reason” is all the more apt this year as preparation is underway for the Ireland Winter Games in 2024.People at Portrush’s East Strand for the Polar Plunge in support of the Special Olympics. Pic: Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia“For all of us involved in Special Olympics, the grassroots and everyday activities at local club level are the most important,” he added. “It is so important that people with an intellectual disability have an outlet through sport, an outlet to meet friends, train hard and compete, with support from the local community and club volunteers.”

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/mla-robbie-butler-makes-festive-splash-for-mental-health-charity/a1922476273.html

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