11 Oct 2021 | 09.00 am
Bord Gáis Energy Sponsors ‘Shine A Light’ Initiative
Focus Ireland sleep-out to help the homeless
11 Oct 2021 | 09.00 am
Focus Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy are calling on members of the community, business leaders and companies across the country to sleep out for one night on Friday 15 October and raise vital funds for homelessness services.
Corporate and community support for this year’s ‘Shine a Light Night’ is so important, as demand for Focus Ireland’s services has increased over the past year since the Covid-19 outbreak. This demand is expected to grow further as the economic impact of the virus continues to hit the country and the 8,132 people currently homeless in Ireland. This includes 2,129 children and 930 families in emergency accommodation.
In 2021, Focus Ireland’s ‘Shine a Light Night’ campaign, which has been supported by Bord Gáis Energy since 2019, is aiming to raise €1.5 million. It is hoped that the Irish business community will lead the charge in raising the vast majority of this target. For the second year, members of the community can also get involved in the initiative within their homes and gardens by hosting their own sleep-outs to ‘Shine a Light’ on homelessness in Ireland.
Since the event began in 2012, ‘Shine A Light Night’ has raised over €7.1 million for people experiencing homelessness in Ireland. Here, Pat Dennigan, CEO of Focus Ireland, explains why the business community and its leaders are crucial in supporting the campaign.
Tell us about your partnership with Bord Gáis Energy?
The ‘Shine A Light’ Night sponsorship by Bord Gáis Energy began in 2019 and is in addition to its ongoing CSR partnership with Focus Ireland. Bord Gáis Energy came on board with ‘Shine a Light’ as it has a particular resonance for them as well as for us in the sense that it’s really all about dealing with both prevention and sustained exit of people from homelessness.
Over the last five years Bord Gáis Energy has not only donated more than €2.4 million to combat family homelessness, but their employees have contributed a substantial amount of volunteer hours to the cause too. The partnership has been of such significant value to Focus Ireland, not only for the incredibly generous donations and fundraising we receive on behalf of the organisation, but also the opportunity to use the company’s national platform to showcase ‘Shine a Light Night’.
Why has the business sector been an important focus point for the campaign?
We’ve engaged with many local and national businesses in previous years, and have coordinated both business leaders’ and workplace sleepouts. The business community and its leaders are crucial in supporting the campaign and generating much needed awareness and fundraising.
Together with our long-standing partner Bord Gáis Energy, we are calling on Irish business leaders to champion the cause, to get their teams involved, and once again to shine a light on homelessness. It is this vital support that will make the real difference in reaching this year’s ‘Shine A Light Night’ fundraising objective of €1.5 million to help in our fight to end homelessness.
This year’s ‘Shine A Light Night’ will take place on Friday 15 October and it is open to everyone. Focus Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy are appealing to business leaders, companies, employees and individuals to get involved by joining virtual and in-person sleepout events across the country.
To register to take part in a sleep out and for more information please visit shinealight.focusIreland.ie.
Photo (l-r): Bord Gáis Energy CEO Dave Kirwan and Pat Dennigan (Pic: Conor McCabe)