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Institute of Professional Legal Studies’ Masquerade Ball

IPLS Masquerade Ball - PIPS' Public Initiative for Prevention of Suicide #LiftTheMaskOffMentalHealth

From their commencement at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies (“IPLS”), the Trainee Solicitors and Pupil Barristers have endeavoured to regularly organise fundraising events for their 2018 nominated charity, Public Initiative for Prevention of Suicide (“PIPS”).

One of their recent fundraising initiatives was a Masquerade Ball held in the Great Hall at Stormont, Parliament Buildings, on 12th October.

The format of the night allowed guests to access the Assembly Chambers with tour guides on hand to provide a unique insight into the history of Parliament Buildings. Following the charity presentation, guests proceeded to the Long Gallery for their buffet after-which everyone returned to the Great Hall for the remainder of the night’s entertainment.

Naturally, the main focus of the event was to raise awareness and funds for the IPLS’ nominated charity. PIPS is based in Belfast and was initially set up following a tragic period when 14 young people took their own lives within a short period of time after-which the local community came together to form PIPS. The Charity delivers Suicide Prevention and Bereavement Support Services, Counselling and Therapies across Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland

Ciara Boyes, Organisational Director at PIPS kindly addressed the guests about the history of the charity and the work which PIPS is involved in before poignantly adding that the Masquerade theme was very relevant as, in reality, many people wear a mask when around others to hide the true state of their mental health.

It is hoped that the Masquerade Ball will make those present aware of the very live issue of mental health, particularly within the legal profession. To this end the IPLS student body are collaborating with PIPS to arrange suicide prevention training for IPLS students later this year.

The Masquerade Ball was a fantastic success and has added over £500 to a growing fundraising total for the year.

The event would not have experienced this success without the assistance of; Claire Sugden MLA, former Justice Minister for Northern Ireland, who kindly sponsored the event, The Events, Catering & Security Departments at Stormont, Jess Walker and ‘The Braces’ who provided the entertainment and ofcourse all the Trainee Solicitors & Pupil Barristers and IPLS staff who supported the event in great numbers.

By Peter Cashel (Solicitor Trainee)