According to Focus Ireland, as of May 2017, there were 35 people* experiencing homelessness in Wicklow.
To raise awareness of the issue approximately 50 Bord Gáis Energy staff took part in an office to office cycle from Cork to Dublin (8th-10th of August).
The 310km cycle saw Bord Gáis Energy employees take to the road from Cork city to Dungarvan via Castlemartyr and Youghal.
After an overnight stay in Dungarvan, the team took the new Waterford Greenway to Waterford city, where they were welcomed by the Focus Ireland Helping Hands Pop-up Living Room. The Living Room, created by Bord Gáis Energy, provided the cyclists with a place to recharge, relax and regenerate before they set off on the rest of the day’s route to Gorey. Passers-by enjoyed some down-time in the living room, and played a big part in raising much needed funds for Focus Ireland.
The Bord Gáis Energy cycling team departed from Waterford for an overnight stay in Gorey, and arrived at their final destination – Bord Gáis Energy’s office in Dublin on Thursday, 10th of August via Wicklow and Bray.
Homeless in the Wicklow
The most recent Government figures show that 35 people are currently experiencing homelessness in Wicklow. Across Ireland, 7,699 people were homeless nationwide in the week of May 22nd to 28th 2017. There were 1,312 families accessing emergency accommodation, which includes 2,777 children. The number of families becoming homeless has increased by over 25% since May 2016.
Ms. Sinead Price, Focus Ireland co-Director of Fundraising and Marketing commented “It is a sad fact that 2,777 children have nowhere to call home in Ireland today. Our staff are working with families and children every single day to help them overcome the terrible impact being homeless has on them. The support of Bord Gáis Energy and its staff with events such as this is vital in helping us to dedicate specialist resources to help people who are at risk of losing their home, and so prevent homelessness. It’s encouraging to see the company show such commitment to our cause and fundraising events like this help us cope with the increasing demand for our services and makes a hugely valuable contribution to ending homelessness for so many families across the country.”
Mr. Dave Kirwan, Managing Director of Bord Gáis Energy commented, ‘it is so important that we continue to drive awareness of the increasing levels of family homelessness in Ireland. We are working in partnership with Focus Ireland to help alleviate the factors that cause homelessness and to increase support for families who are on the brink of losing their home.”
“Our staff has shown such dedication in organising this cycle and have worked tirelessly over the past number of months to make this event a success and to raise as much funds as possible for Focus Ireland. It’s through this dedication that we’ll also get closer to our aim of raising awareness of the issue of family homelessness, and we’re asking our customers and the general public to also give a helping hand in getting us there”.
Bord Gáis Energy and Focus Ireland Partnership
As part of a three-year partnership with Focus Ireland, established in 2015, Bord Gáis Energy has pledged a total of €1.2 million to help prevent family homelessness. The partnership aims to minimise the effect of losing a home, to ease the disruption that homelessness can cause to everyday life and to aid the creation of a sustainable long term solution to the issue.
To date the partnership has:
- given vital support to 2,283 parents and children in emergency accommodation
- delivered specialist advice and support to 339 families on the brink of immediate homelessness to keep them in their homes
- reached out to 2,500 families moving towards homelessness to provide preventative assistance
* Source: Focus Ireland, May 2017