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Published on: Galway Simon Community News

Galway Simon Community launch Schools Programme and Competition

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Local homeless charity, Galway Simon Community, have launched their schools programme and photography competition ‘Capture, Create, Contribute’ in partnership with Galway based Yann Photography Studios. The educational programme aims to teach students how they can advocate and raise awareness of homelessness in their community through photography & creativity.

Taking place in 20 secondary schools across Galway, the programme will introduce over 400 transition year students to the reality of homelessness and the work of Galway Simon, whilst developing their creativity. It will include a series of workshops that will be delivered by frontline staff of Galway Simon and an experienced photographer from Yann Studios.

Bill Griffin, CEO of Galway Simon Community said the programme is a way of educating future generations. “Advocacy is a huge part of our work at Galway Simon and our schools programme aims to educate students about the issue of homelessness, which has reached crisis point in our society. We believe it’s important to engage these young students in the discussion and to encourage them to become advocates for those who are experiencing homelessness in our community”, says Bill.

“We’re delighted to have Yann Studios on board with us which will really help to bring out the creative side of students. We’re very lucky to have the programme sponsored by KBC Bank and also Bon Secours Hospital Galway who are the main sponsors, they’ve been an exceptional support to us in the past and we’re so grateful for their involvement again this year. ”, added Bill.

Following the workshops, students will be encouraged to enter into the photography competition ‘Capture, Create, Contribute’ by forming groups and taking a photo that for them illustrates the current homeless crisis. Twelve finalists will be selected through a voting system and an awards night will be held on 24th November where the winners will be presented with their awards by Irish Rugby player, Ronan Loughney.

Galway Simon Community provide housing and support services to people who are experiencing homelessness in Galway. The charity has seen a huge demand in their services compared to last year. In the first six months of the year, their services dealt with 407 households, an increase of 90% in comparison to the same period last year.