Gowan Auto has presented a new Opel Movano to The Elephant in the Room

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Gowan Auto, the exclusive importer and distributor of Alfa Romeo, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Honda, Jeep, Opel and Peugeot in the Republic of Ireland, has announced its partnership with the Elephant in the Room movement, as Official Vehicle Sponsors, in aid of Samaritans.

The Elephant in the Room is a social enterprise initiative that promotes mental well-being in the workplace. Established by former rugby player and mental health advocate, Brent Pope, together with co-founders Dave Southern and Eoin Byrne, and supported by a growing number of well-known ambassadors, including Adam Clayton, Caelan Doris and Charlie Bird, the unique programme is capturing attention in businesses and corporations who want to showcase their CSR values and the importance they place on employee welfare.

The concept is simple: an ever-growing herd of elephant sculptures of approximately 4 feet in height and length, has been commissioned, decorated by professional artists, and displayed in reception areas and boardrooms, to actively demonstrate the importance they place on mental health awareness in their workplace.

Presenting the charity organisation with a new Opel Movano to transport commissioned elephant sculptures around the country, Gowan Auto has pledged its support to assist the movement, whilst simultaneously promoting mental well-being amongst 140 employees at its Distribution Centre.

Speaking at the official presentation of the new Opel van, Dave Southern said: “The Elephant in the Room movement is delighted to welcome Opel and Gowan Auto on board as our new Official Vehicle Sponsors. We sincerely thank them for their extreme generosity in actively supporting us in such a practical way, as we continue to deliver bespoke elephant sculptures artworks to corporations all over Ireland. Our focus and drive seek to transform workplace environments into spaces where mental well-being is a priority; where people everywhere become more open to talking about the issues that most affect them, overcoming all stigmas.”

Brent Pope added: “We all have our elephants in our lives, whatever they may be, and sharing our vulnerabilities can often help start the healing process. My dream over the next few years is for our society to show greater awareness, understanding, compassion and empathy around mental health issues; to give people everywhere permission to talk about their mental health as openly as they would discuss a physical ailment, without judgement or discrimination, for the better well-being of the individual, family, workplace and society. Ultimately, I want to eventually see a brightly coloured elephant in every corner of Irish society, be it a house, sports club, school, university, embassy, corporate and multinational.”

Last year, the Elephant in the Room movement raised €30,000 for their charity partner, Samaritans Ireland, and they are planning a major Gala Corporate Event fundraiser for Samaritans later in 2024 to raise funds for the vital services the charity provides, along with helping create awareness that they are there to support people through the challenges they face 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

To find out more or enquire about how you, your business or organisation can become involved, see http://www.elephantintheroom.ie.

Pictured left to right: Richard Dillon, Head of Retail Sales at Opel Ireland; Emma Toner, Opel Ireland Marketing Director; James Brooks, Opel Ireland Managing Director; Carmel Treacy, Gowan Group HR Director;  Brent Pope; Dave Southern.