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Focus Ireland call on businesses across Limerick to sleep out for Shine a Light Night 2021

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Shine a Light Night 2021 – Pictured is Dave Kirwan, Managing Director of Bord Gáis Energy and Pat Dennigan, CEO of Focus Ireland at the Launch of Shine A Light Night. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Focus Ireland call on businesses across Limerick to sleep out for Shine a Light Night 2021

Limerick Podcast Episode 11

Pictured at the Launch of Shine a Light 2019 at King Johns Castle are Declan Hannon, Limerick senior hurling captain, Niall O’Callaghan, Shannon Heritage Managing Director, Kate McGrath, Focus Ireland, John Fitzgerald, Harmonics Managing Director, Mairead Cummane, Focus Ireland and Darren Staunton, Bord Gais Energy. Picture: Orla McLaughlin/ilovelimerick.

Focus Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy are calling on members of the public, business leaders and companies in Limerick to sleep out for one night on Friday, October 15th – to help raise funds for vital homelessness services. Recent figures from Focus Ireland report that 7,991 people are currently without a home in Ireland, with this year’s virtual sleep outs in homes, gardens, school grounds, university campuses and outdoor workspaces more important than ever.

Corporate support for Shine a Light Night is so important, as demand for Focus Ireland’s services has increased over the past year since the Covid-19 outbreak. This demand is expected to grow further as the economic impact of the virus continues to hit the country and impact the 7,991 people currently homeless in Ireland, including 2,148 children and 928 families in emergency accommodation. Bord Gáis Energy remains committed to its continued partnership with Focus Ireland, sponsoring the annual fundraising initiative – Shine A Light Night – for a third year; with both Focus Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy, hoping that the virtual sleep-out options will make this year’s Shine a Light Night safe and accessible to as many people as possible.

In line with Covid-19 guidelines, Focus Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy are exploring the feasibility of running in-person events with the hope of business leaders sleeping out in both Cork and Dublin. Event organisers are currently carrying out risk assessments at venues in both cities and will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation with participants safety a priority.

In 2021, Focus Ireland’s Shine a Light Night campaign, which has been supported by Bord Gáis Energy since 2019, is aiming to raise €1.5 million, with Ireland’s business community helping to raise the vast majority of this. For the second year, members of the public can also get involved in the initiative within their homes and gardens by hosting their own sleepouts to Shine a Light on homelessness in Ireland. Since the event began in 2012, Shine A Light Night has raised over €7.1m for people experiencing homelessness in Ireland.

Pat Dennigan, CEO Focus Ireland said: “Shine a Light Night is our most important fundraising initiative each year and we have always been strongly supported by the business community in Ireland. We are truly grateful for their involvement and support in driving funds to ensure our vital services can continue to help those who are homeless in Limerick and across the country. We hope to reintroduce our schedule of outdoor corporate sleepouts this year, restrictions and guidelines permitting, but will also be encouraging members of the public, workplaces, schools and universities to get involved in our ‘virtual’ sleepouts or on their own premises if it is safe to do so.

We’re relying on the support from businesses and members of the public to reach our fundraising goal of €1.5 million so we can continue to support those experiencing homelessness in communities nationwide.”

Managing Director of Bord Gáis Energy, Dave Kirwan said, “The past year has been incredibly challenging for many; however, we know those impacted by homelessness are particularly vulnerable

and need our collective support and fundraising efforts. Everyone at Bord Gáis Energy is as committed as ever to supporting the crucial work of Focus Ireland in addressing the causes of this devastating social issue and increasing support for those who are at risk of losing their home. Last year’s virtual sleep out was hugely successful, showing the strong support of the Irish public to this worthy cause and I’d encourage individuals, families and businesses across the country to consider joining or supporting the campaign this year, giving one night to shine a light on homelessness.”

To register for Shine a Light Night 2021 go HERE 

For more stories on Shine a Light Night go HERE

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 ilovelimerick.com 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.

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