Katie Banks is Employee Experience Manager in Nitro’s EMEA HQ. She Irish danced for 21 years and performed at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo Festival and the Olympia Theatre Dublin. Katie has a knack for writing a kickass CV and coaching people for interview--she’s become the go-to resource in her circle of friends and beyond.
“Everybody who comes in has a story to tell. Everybody is there for a reason.”
Over 100,000 people in 80 venues across three continents took part in Pieta House’s annual Darkness Into Light 5km walk and run on Saturday, May 9th. From Galway and Dublin to London, New York and Perth, participants walked or ran the 5km route at 4.15am. The charity, a centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide, says the early dawn represents hope and is symbolic of their work, bringing people from darkness back into the light.
Its 3.30am, the time that most people would be coming home after a Friday night out. Clambering out of bed and into the car the short trip begins to Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Driving through Dublin City, the last of the revelers are making their way home. As you drive down the Quays, the usual Nitelink Buses are replaced with special service buses with “Darkness into Light 2015” lit up on the front.
We registered at 4.40am, well past the starting time of 4.15am, but it doesn’t matter, the atmosphere is captivating. Music is played, volunteers are on hand to provide encouragement to the participants. Crowds are taking photos of each other as they cross the starting line, others are simply taking 5mins to have a silent thought at the display of candles spelling out HOPE. There was plenty of water in Custom Water bottles as well which helped because a lot of running was about to take place and the last thing any of us would want is to be really dehydrated to take all the energy out of the event.
The distinctive yellow race t-shirts on, a group shot with my fellow Nitronauts and a high five later, Alan & Garth from the sales team (the athletes) took off on their 5km run. The rest of us walking at a nice brisk pace. The atmosphere on the route was a mix of fun, laughter and emotion. At 2km, there was a stop off point where you could light a candle for a loved one who had passed away and at 3km the Dublin Gospel Choir sang out uplifting tunes to encourage and lift people’s spirits.
At 5.38am the sun rose and shone a light on the vast expanse of the Phoenix Park. Rounding the top of the hill at 4km we could see the finish line ahead of us. As we neared the final post, cheers could be heard ringing out, a volunteer on a megaphone congratulating and encouraging people as they crossed the finish line.
From 6 year olds to 60 years olds the turn-out and support of such a good cause was incredible-there was even a doggy or two kitted out in yellow!
Just as most people’s Saturday morning was starting six very refreshed but chilly Nitronauts made their way back to the exit of Phoenix Park, chatting about the next Nitro Gives event. All in all, it was a success and a rewarding reason to jump out of bed at 3.30am. We even got to see a deer!! J
Katie, Sarah, Shane, Ali, Alan and Garth from the Nitro EMEA office in Dublin took part in ‘Darkness into Light’ to raise funds for Pieta House charity. All funds raised were matched by Nitro as part of our Nitro Gives program.
The Nitro Gives Program covers a range of initiatives including Volunteering Time Off, Donation Matching and Licensing Donations. The program centers around and supports a number of core values including, Education, Community and Environment. Nitro Gives is owned by the People Operations Team and is a core element of Nitro’s Employee Experience Hierarchy of Needs.