Take the challenge, join the experience, make a difference!

Homeless charity Galway Simon Community has launched their annual Sleep Out for Simon event with a new focus; it’s going virtual! The event is set to take place on Friday 2nd October and will see friends, families, colleagues and teammates from Galway and beyond taking part from a distance by pitching a tent in the garden, bedding down on the living room floor, or spending the night under the stars in the office car park.

Whether at home or abroad, Galway Simon is asking people from the West to swap their beds for sleeping bags, and give up their everyday comforts as a mark of solidarity with those facing homelessness and to spend the night fundraising in a unique and powerful way. Through a virtual connection, participants will share a meaningful experience that aims to generate awareness, empathy and understanding of the struggle of facing homelessness in our community.

For the past four years, Galway Simon’s annual Sleep Out has made a huge impact on their Homelessness Prevention Services throughout the county and this year is set to be no different. Deirdre Treacy, Fundraising & Communications Manager at Galway Simon Community, explained why they are relying on the community to come together and raise funds for those facing homelessness.

“This is a critical time for our local community. The COVID-19 crisis has had a detrimental impact on the lives of many people in Galway. It has, and will continue to put many people at risk of becoming homeless. Our services are stretched more than ever and with the inevitable economic fallout from the crisis looming, we are anticipating an even bigger increase in the demand for our services over the coming months. Our two charity shops, which are a vital source of funds for our services, have been closed for the last three months. In addition, many of our regular fundraising events have had to be cancelled. That’s why the funds raised through Sleep Out for Simon are more important now than ever. The Sleep Out for Simon is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and is vital in keeping our Homeless Prevention Services running in the West of Ireland”, Deirdre said.

“What makes our annual Sleep Out so special is the incredible sense of togetherness and unity that seems to fill the air. In order to recreate this intimate experience on a global scale, we will be equipping each participant with access to a digital toolkit, keeping everyone engaged and connected through a timeline of activities that will include music, storytelling and mindfulness. While we may not be able to take to the streets and shake buckets into the evening, we are hopeful that the members of our community and the Irish diaspora will be motivated by this great cause and take part wherever they are in the world”, Deirdre added.

100% of proceeds will go directly towards Galway Simon’s Homelessness Prevention Services here in the West ensuring the charity can safeguard this essential service during the Covid-19 pandemic.

To register for the Sleep Out today, visit www.galway.sleepoutforsimon.ie.

Wednesday 15th July 2020