Brendan Courtney and Focus Ireland ambassadors Kelly Ann Byrne and Stephanie Clarke today launched this year’s Shine A Light sleep out in aid of Focus Ireland.
Taking place on Friday, 13 October, Shine A Light is proudly supported by Bord Gáis Energy and calls on people across the country to host a sleep out in their homes, communities or workplaces to help end family homelessness. This year the goal is to raise €1.2m to support the essential work of Focus Ireland.
Bord Gáis Energy’s support of Shine A Light forms part of an ongoing partnership with Focus Ireland which began in 2015. To date it has supported over 7,000 families and directly prevented 458 vulnerable families from becoming homeless. Last year the partnership was extended until 2025 and Bord Gáis Energy has pledged a further €2 million to help tackle family homelessness, bringing its total commitment in funds to €4.4 million.
Demand for Focus Ireland’s services is at an all-time high. There are currently 1,839 families including children in emergency accommodation as of July 2023, an increase of 29% in the last year. The work that Focus Ireland is doing to support families experiencing homeless or as risk of homelessness is vital, but they can’t do it alone and the support of people across the country is essential to create real change.
On the night Brendan will sleep out at his home and will document the experience on his social channels. Other well-known personalities taking part in Shine A Light include broadcaster and writer Louise McSharry, former Tipperary hurler Brendan Maher, farming influencer Katie Gleeson and lifestyle influencer Caroline Mooney.
Signing up to Shine A Light is quick and easy to do. Simply visit shinealight.focusireland.ie to register and select whether you’re sleeping out as an individual or as part of a team. You can then set your fundraising target and a shareable fundraising page will be created for you.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Brendan Courtney urged people across the country to join him on Friday, 13 October to help end family homelessness.
“The latest figures show that homelessness profoundly impacts our society. There are thousands of families across Ireland, including children who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes and we need to come together and help combat this issue. By hosting your own sleepout at home, at your workplace, local sports club or community hall, we can raise vital funds for Focus Ireland and prevent more families from becoming homeless. The goal this year is to raise €1.2m and I am urging everyone to sign up and donate to this important cause.”
Speaking on behalf of Focus Ireland, Kelly Ann Byrne said:
“Every night thousands of people are facing the uncertainty and fear of having nowhere to call home. Having experienced firsthand the work of Focus Ireland in supporting families to rebuild their lives, I urge you to gather your friends, family or colleagues and host your own sleep out to raise vital funds for Focus Ireland. With your support, together we can end homelessness.”
Simply visit shinealight.focusireland.ie to register now.