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LIT Respond Housing collaboration results in new design for homeless families

LIT Respond Housing collaboration results in new design for homeless families. Staff from LIT and Respond! with sponsors and winner Alex Harnett who won first prize for her imaginative use of Dulux products. The competition was generously sponsored by Dulux paints Forbo flooring systems and the Galtee group. Photo: Liam Burke Press 22

Recently in Limerick city, students of LIT Interior Design were presented with awards to acknowledge their excellent design work for the renovation of a playroom for homeless women and children.

The Suaimhneas project was opened by LIT Respond Housing collaboration in Moyross in 2002 to combat the growing numbers of homeless women and children who were left with no alternative than living in B&Bs. Funded by the HSE and Limerick City and County Council, the Suaimhneas centre focuses on helping families with re-housing as well as support and resources to achieve independent living.

Beginning purely as a design competition, the collaboration between LIT and Respond grew to include local material suppliers that have generously donated the materials and in some cases the labour for the implementation of the new scheme. The community-spirited suppliers are Dulux Ireland, Forbo Ireland and the Galtee Group (Ballylanders).




Paul Hargaden, Regional Manager for Respond Housing:

“This is an excellent example of real collaboration to the benefit of the local community.

We never dreamed that Niall and his students would go beyond the hopes of a simple design, to facilitate a whole redesign of the space. This will give a much-needed boost to the service and the families living in Suaimhneas who are experiencing a difficult time in their lives.

Now the children will have a beautiful new play area and Dulux Ireland, Forbo Ireland and the Galtee Group are to be sincerely thanked for coming on board with materials and labour.

I would like to thank the students for their time and talent, Niall and all in Limerick Institute of Technology for seeking to contribute in a meaningful way and the fantastic companies who joined the team. It shows us that during this homelessness crisis if we all come together we can make a big difference.”

Pat Gill, Head of Department of the Built Environment at LIT:

“We are delighted to help the women and children in the Suaimhneas service and at the same time teach our students the application of design in the real world. The excellent design must have the end service-users in mind and this project is a great learning experience for our students.

LIT Respond Housing collaboration

Paul Hargaden Regional Manager with Respond!, Alex Harnett winner, Niall McPartlin Programme Leader and Orlaith Corr Manager of Suaimhneas. Photo: Liam Burke Press 22

Design and the built environment around us are also proven to be a major factor in terms of wellbeing and mental health. We all deserve good design and none more so than the women and children of Limerick who have no home to call their own. We are happy, as always, to assist the good work of Respond! in the Limerick area.”

Eoin Ryan, Managing Director at the Galtee Group:

“The Galtee Group are delighted to be associated with such a worthy cause in conjunction with LIT Respond Housing collaboration. We have worked with LIT on a number of projects including the Carbright Homecare Facility and look forward to future collaboration.”

Noel Hogan, Area Sales Manager, Forbo Flooring Systems:

Forbo Ireland Limited are delighted to be associated with such a worthy cause in conjunction with Limerick Institute of Technology (Interior design program )and Respond! Housing Association.”

Paddy Barry, Sales Manager Southern Region, Dulux Paints Ireland Limited:

Represented by Mr Fergus O’Connor on the night, Area Representative with Dulux Paints.

“I know all the participants have contributed a tremendous amount of time and effort to bring such a worthwhile project to fruition. It again illustrates what can be achieved when people engage together with a positive and generous attitude.  On behalf of Dulux, I would like to thank and congratulate the staff and students from LIT as well as the team from Respond! on this great achievement.”

For more information on LIT Respond Housing collaboration click here

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.