Wexford business leaders urged to sleep-out in the fight against homelessness

Bord Gáis Energy announces sponsorship of Focus Ireland’s Shine A Light Night

The rate of homelessness in Wexford is increasing with 66 adults currently without a home. In response, Bord Gáis Energy has announced an extension of its longstanding partnership with homelessness charity, Focus Ireland, to sponsor its annual fundraising initiative – Shine A Light Night.

Shine A Light Night challenges business leaders across Ireland to sleep-out for one night and in doing so raise vital funds to help alleviate homelessness.

The sponsorship is in addition to the energy company’s ongoing partnership with the charity which since 2015 has seen Bord Gáis Energy commit more than €2.4m to help combat family homelessness.

There are 1,733 families homeless in Ireland today and this number is growing. In Wexford, Focus Ireland provides prevention and housing advice, and research-based services.

On Friday 18th October the 13th annual Shine A Light Night will see business leaders sleep-out at the Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin and at Cork’s historic Spike Island.  Wexford Business leaders will also be joining the event – taking part in an event at   Innovate Wexford Park.  Alternatively Employees of businesses in Wexford can also sign up to support the initiative by pledging to fundraise and sleep out at their workplace.

Speaking at the launch of Shine A Light Night Catherine O’Kelly, Managing Director, Bord Gáis Energy said, “The current homeless crisis in towns and communities across Ireland is worse than ever. It is heart-breaking that 3,821 children in Ireland today have no home. The team and I in Bord Gáis Energy are committed to supporting Focus Ireland in the crucial work it does to address the causes of homelessness and increase support for those who are at risk of losing their home.

“Shine A Light Night is an incredible initiative that has gathered more and more support year on year. However, with the alarming rise in homelessness, we need this year’s event to be bigger than ever in raising vital funds to support this devastating social issue. We are extremely proud to sponsor this year’s campaign. I urge every business in Ireland to join me, sign up and give one night to make this the most successful Shine A Light Night yet. It may simply be one night of your life, but it can save suffering for those who are homeless.”

To date, Shine A Light Night has raised over €4m for people experiencing homelessness in Ireland. In 2018, this support enabled Focus Ireland to help over 15,500 people. With the support of the business community, every day Focus Ireland moves a family out of homelessness into a secure home of their own.

Speaking at the launch, Pat Dennigan, CEO Focus Ireland said, “Focus Ireland works tirelessly with people experiencing homelessness to help them secure their home or to ensure they leave homelessness for good. We also work extensively across the area of prevention to make sure many other families and individuals never become homeless in the first place. We rely on the support of organisations like Bord Gáis Energy to make a success of fundraising events like Shine A Light Night and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their generous support.”

For further information and to sign up to participate in Shine A Light Night 2019 visit www.focusireland.ie/shinealight