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#decoratetodonate in support of Novas Christmas Appeal 

Novas Christmas Appeal includes a campaign called #decoratetodonate, devised by a member of the public, Audrey Ryan (pictured above) to raise vital funds to help the fight against homelessness in support of NOVAS. Picture: David Woodland Photography.

Homelessness in Limerick city is reaching an intolerable level as just one of what is estimated to be multiple homeless camps have been discovered in the city during the past week. It is clear something needs to be done to help the people who do not gain or avail of emergency housing. 

NOVAS are a non-profit organization based in Limerick, working with single adults, families and children who are disadvantaged and socially excluded; primarily those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. They offer bespoke, client-centred services, based on empirical evidence of more than a decade’s experience of working with people who are homeless in Ireland. They believe everyone is entitled to a home.

Issues facing NOVAS clients include extreme poverty, mental health issues, substance and alcohol misuse, physical and sexual abuse, family breakdown and poor education. They develop client-centred services to cater for the individual needs of all those availing of their services.




They encourage clients to aspire to a better quality of life. They provide them with social, educational and employment skills which will enable them to sustain independent living on a long-term basis. They also offer outreach support to those who have moved on from their services to assist them with tenancy sustainment and social inclusion.

#decoratetodonate is a new campaign by a member of the public, Audrey Ryan, to raise vital funds to help the fight against homelessness in support of the Novas Christmas appeal.

When you have your Christmas Tree decorated, take a photo of it, text NOVAS to 50300 to donate €4 and upload the picture of your tree along with the receipt of your donation on your social media pages. Don’t forget to tag NOVAS in your posts to show them all the beautiful trees and use the hashtag #decoratetodonate.

Audrey tells me, “As a member of the public, it’s heartbreaking to see people suffer so much, hungry and sleeping out in the cold, especially at this time of the year when we are celebrating the holidays with the people we love most in the world. I felt I had to do something. It’s up to all of us to get involved and I am asking the people of Limerick to please get behind this campaign. All of us can make a difference and this is what the spirit of Christmas in Limerick is truly about.”

Another initiative NOVAS Christmas appeal launched leading up to the anticipated weeks before Santa Clause arrives is their annual Christmas Toy Appeal across the country. The Christmas Toy Appeal is a highly successful initiative launched each year by the Intensive Family Support Service at NOVAS during the weeks leading up to Christmas. The aim of the appeal is to provide toys for teenagers and children of the less fortunate by the kind donations of the public.

Novas Christmas

Should you wish to participate in the toy appeal, you will be allocated a child or young person, and provided with their age and gender in order to help you select an appropriate gift. Each child will be given a numerical reference so that they can be identified by NOVAS. The donator will then be asked to purchase a gift for that child, and deliver it in a gift bag (unwrapped), labeled with the number of the particular child, to the charities family support service at 1 Mungret Street, Limerick City. If this is not possible, collections from the donator can be arranged.

The NOVAS Christmas Toy Appeal is just one of multiple fundraising events NOVAS organize throughout the Christmas period in order to help those under the charities care during this particularly difficult time. For further info follow them on social media or visit www.novas.

Check out NOVAS on Facebook and Twitter.

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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.