Dancing the Floss for a cause
The Floss is the latest dance craze but sisters Ava and Amber Newport are putting the move to good use, incorporating into their awareness raising campaign for mental health.
The sisters, who are 11 and nine respectively, made headlines recently when they sent a letter to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar calling for better mental health supports in County Wexford. As part of their campaign, they held a flossing event on Carne Beach, which drew a huge crowd of children and adults alike.
Their mother, Sarah, said they were overwhelmed by the numbers who attended, saying that people also hung around for a long time after the dancing was done, chatting and talking about the issue, and enjoying some refreshments. It was, she said, a wonderful community event that everyone rowed in behind with volunteers bringing various foodstuffs for the event.
'One woman was up making pancakes at 6 a.m.' she laughed, adding that the main aim of the day was to raise understanding of mental health concerns amongst the community.
'The girls have definitely raised awareness among their own age group, kids are learning about the issues and picking up the lingo. Ava is brilliant because she will tell Amber things that I tell her, they'll discuss and then they'll bring it out to their own friend groups.'
Sarah thanked all those who had attended the event, particularly Eileen Rowe who took the warm-up on the beach, having come direct from the Dip in the Nip earlier that morning. She added that even the gathered parents gave the floss a go with varying degrees of success, including councillors Ger Carthy, Davy Hynes and Lisa McDonald. The event was watched over by the Coast Guard, which the girls father Ken is a member of and who was on duty for the day.
The girls are still engaged in the local campaign and Sarah said they are wracking their brains to come up with some more events in the future.
She said: '"Floss" stands for 'Forget Limitations, Offer Support Services'. Anything they can do to create awareness, they will and we will help them to do that.'