Leah Braham, Regina Mundi College; Bishop Fintan Gavin, Bishop of Cork and Ross; Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Deirdre Forde; Bishop Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross and Daniel Prestwick, Chair SHARE Executive as the iconic Share crib is launched. Photo: Gerard McCarthy

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A well known charity has rallied its troops for its annual Christmas collection.

SHARE (Students Harness Aid for the Relief of the Elderly) volunteers are out and about on the streets of Cork city collecting for the worthy charity.

Almost 2,000 5th year students from Cork will be seen around the city spreading Christmas joy and collecting vital funds in the familiar yellow jackets.

The iconic SHARE crib was lit up recently which marks the beginning of a collection that has been a cornerstone of Christmas in Cork for the past 50 years.

A number of students are taking part in the annual SHARE 24 hour fast, and in keeping with tradition, students will man the crib daily in the run-up to Christmas. Students will collect right up until Christmas Eve, raising much-needed funds for a charity that has looked after the elderly in the region for half a century.

Speaking ahead of the launch that took place this week, Chair of the Executive, Daniel Prestwich said: “Come wind, rain or hail, every year, students from all over Cork come together for this extremely worthy cause. It is a tradition we are immensely proud of and a cause that is so close to our hearts. This is always a really special night in the city and anyone who attends will tell you that there is a real air of care, community and Christmas spirit.”

The launch event was attended by the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Deirdre Forde, Most Reverend Fintan Gavin Bishop of Cork and Ross and Dr Paul Colton Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, a host of students and residents, and many friends of SHARE.

Ben Horgan, SHARE executive, also spoke of the extra special nature of the 2022 SHARE charity drive: “2022 marks the 53rd year of the fast, which first happened the year before SHARE was officially founded on Patrick’s Street, outside Gentleman’s Quarters. For those of us involved, SHARE holds a special place in our hearts. Any time we willingly give up to volunteer, we get back 10-fold, and we are all privileged to be able to spend time with the older generation of Cork.”