The rate of homelessness in Cork is increasing at an alarming rate with 407 adults currently without a home. In response, Bord Gáis Energy has confirmed the extension of its longstanding partnership with homelessness charity, Focus Ireland, to sponsor its annual fundraising initiative – Shine A Light Night.
On Friday 18 October the eighth annual Shine A Light Night will see business leaders sleep-out at Cork’s historic Spike Island in addition to locations Dublin, Wexford, Waterford and Limerick. Employees of businesses around Ireland can also sign up to support the initiative by pledging to fundraise and sleep-out at their workplace.
Shine A Light Night challenges business leaders across Ireland to sleep-out for one night and in doing so, raise vital funds to help alleviate homelessness.
Speaking at event, Ger Spillane, Focus Ireland Services Manager Mid and South West said,
“Focus Ireland works tirelessly with people experiencing homelessness to help them secure their home or to ensure they leave homelessness for good. We also work extensively across the area of prevention to make sure many other families and individuals never become homeless in the first place. We rely on the support of organisations like Bord Gáis Energy to make a success of fundraising events like Shine A Light Night and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their generous support.”
There are 1,733 families homeless in Ireland today and this number is growing. In Cork, Focus Ireland provides prevention and housing advice, support services for families, support services for young people, short and long-term housing, and research-based services.
Commenting at the launch of Shine A Light Night on Spike Island Nico Rourke, Regional Manager, Bord Gáis Energy said,
“The current homeless crisis in towns and communities across Ireland is worse than ever. It is heart-breaking that 3,821 children in Ireland today have no home. Bord Gáis Energy are committed to supporting Focus Ireland in the crucial work it does to address the causes of homelessness and increase support for those who are at risk of losing their home.
“Shine A Light Night is an incredible initiative that has gathered more and more support year on year. However, with the alarming rise in homelessness, we need this year’s event to be bigger than ever in raising vital funds to support this devastating social issue. We are extremely proud to sponsor this year’s campaign. We urge every business in Cork to join us, sign up and give one night to make this the most successful Shine A Light Night yet. It may simply be one night of your life, but it can save suffering for those who are homeless.”
To date, Shine A Light Night has raised over €4m for people experiencing homelessness in Ireland. In 2018, this support enabled Focus Ireland to help over 15,500 people. With the support of the business community, every day Focus Ireland moves a family out of homelessness into a secure home of their own.
Concluding, John Crotty, Spike Island Manager stated,
“Spike Island is pleased to host Shine a Light Night 2019. It’s an historic venue that puts the modern crisis of homelessness into clear focus and I encourage the business community to join us on the 18th October here on Spike.”
For further information please contact Dick White, Cork Area Fundraising and Marketing Executive on 086 8223690 or firstname.lastname@example.org and to sign up to participate in Shine A Light Night 2019 visit www.focusireland.ie/shinealight.