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Pioneer Association Spared Closure and Launches its 114th Christmas Appeal By Urging People to Avoid Problem Drinking this Festive Season

christmas2011Thanks to the generosity of the people of Ireland to the Pioneers’ 2011 fundraising appeal, the country’s local Pioneer centres remain open and issued their annual Christmas today (21 November 2011) by inviting drinkers to enjoy the forthcoming seasonal festivities by drinking sensibly and moderately this Christmas.

Speaking as the Association’s appeal draws to a close in December, Padraig Brady, Pioneer Association CEO said:

“ The Pioneers are very grateful to be here and to be able, once more, to reach out to people through prayer and reflection this Christmastime. As the recession deepens and with further budget and austerity measures on the way, for many people this Christmas will bring increased levels of stress and anxiety about job losses, paying mortgages, mortgage arrears, personal debt or about trying to make Christmas for their families. The Pioneers do not underestimate how attractive alcohol can be in these troubled times. But we also know only too well how drinking to excess offers no lasting relief from the stresses and strains that we experience. If anything, alcohol abuse exacerbates our problems and leaves in its trail a legacy of damaging financial, emotional and social consequences for an individual and their families.

“To anybody who is directly or indirectly affected by alcohol abuse we invite you to consider making contact with your local Pioneer centre this Christmastime. We can offer prayer and spiritual support to people who find themselves struggling with alcohol. We can also offer contact details for the many service providers who offer real help to people struggling with alcohol particularly over the festive season.”

Mr Brady added:
“The Pioneers have come through a very difficult year and have staved off closure thanks to the support of the people of Ireland, be they members or non-members of the Pioneers. Our Appeal draws to a close in December. Even at this late stage in the Appeal people are still giving what they can to the Association. The Association is deeply appreciative of every single donation and gesture of support people so readily gave to it. The Pioneers wish everyone a peaceful Advent and a Happy Christmas.

Further information on the Pioneers is available from www.pioneerassociation.ie.