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Focus Ireland seeks business backing for Shine a Light night

August 16th, 2015 4:50 PM

By Southern Star Team

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FOCUS Ireland is calling on business leaders in Cork to sign up for its Shine A Light Night and sleep rough for one night to raise vital funds to combat and prevent family homelessness.

The event takes place in Cork’s historic city Gaol on October 16th and will see some of Cork’s top entrepreneurs and business people sleep out for one night to shine a light on homelessness.

This year’s business leader sleep out will take place in Cork and at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin on the same night.

The night is Focus Ireland’s annual flagship corporate event and since 2012 over €1m has been raised from Shine A Light Night with over 200 business leaders taking part in the sleep out since then.

These funds have been vital to ensure Focus Ireland services have been able to cope with a 43.75% rise in the numbers seeking support since 2012.

Focus Ireland helped over 11,500 people who were either homeless or at risk in 2014 compared to 8,000 in 2012.

The charity has stressed that it needs to raise funds to ensure its service can meet this rising demand for support in Cork and around the country. The charity is now urging Cork’s top business men and women to come together and sign-up for the event.

Focus Ireland Cork Manager, Ger Spillane, says the charity’s services in Cork have reported a growing number of families and singles who are homeless – or at serious risk of losing their home – contacting the charity seeking support. He said: ‘We made our Advice & Information service full time two years ago in response to a sharp rise in demand for support in Cork each month from families and individuals in serious difficulties. Our staff are working hard to be able to advise and support people in these stressful situations.

‘They work to help prevent people from losing their home and becoming homeless and also to support people who are homeless,’ he added.

Currently, more than one family goes through the trauma of losing their family home every single day in Ireland and one in four of those in emergency accommodation is a child.

Focus Ireland lifeline services are working hard to support these families and to prevent others from losing their homes in the first place by providing advice and information. The charity provides 70 support services nationwide and a place to call home for over 650 households across Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford.

This year Newstalk have been announced as the official media partner for Shine A Light Night and editor in chief at the station, Garrett Harte, says they are delighted to support this unique event. He said: “This is a real opportunity for corporate Ireland to make an impact on homelessness in Ireland. We have been supporting Shine A Light Night since its inception in 2012 and we are delighted to be Focus Ireland’s Media Partner for this year’s event. We hope our listeners get behind this great initiative.

Meanwhile, Merrion Fleet are the official sponsor of the Shine A Light Night Business Leader Sleepout and head of sales Paul Dunn, says they are proud to be associated with the Focus Ireland event: ‘This is a hugely important fundraising event and an opportunity for business leaders across the country to be part of something really special. By coming together for just one night, the business community can help raise funds which will make a difference to people who are homeless or currently at risk of losing their home. ‘

Learn more by contacting Aoife on 01 881 5984 or [email protected] or visit focusireland.ie

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