03 Jul 2019 | 10.32 am
Why Brooks Is Backing Shine A Light Night
‘Shine A Light galvanises your teams around an important objective’
03 Jul 2019 | 10.32 am
Bord Gáis Energy has been supporting Focus Ireland and helping in the fight against family homelessness since 2015. This year, Bord Gáis Energy has announced an extension of its partnership to sponsor the main 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 Brooks Timber and Building Supplies brand is over 200 years old and last year the company took part in Shine A Light Night, which has raised €4m since 2012. Mark Lohan (pictured), Managing Director, explains why his company engaged with Shine a Light Night.
Why did your business join the Shine A Light campaign?
The impact of the last downturn on our sector was particularly acute. Anyone operating or employed in the construction sector felt the full impact, and there were significant pay cuts and redundancies. The idea that homelessness could happen to anyone struck home with people then. Now, after having come through the downturn, our sector remembers those times. Focus Ireland’s Shine A Light campaign resonated strongly with us. At Brooks, we often ask ourselves: ‘What’s the right thing to do?’ On more than one level, this was the right thing to do.
Who in your business championed the need to tackle homelessness?
Carmel Walker, one of our branch managers, suggested to the Brooks leadership team that we should participate in the Shine A Light campaign. Branches across the country readily agreed to participate. They raised significant funds in the process and we were all incredibly proud of the efforts. An unforeseen benefit of participating was that it proved to be a very strong bonding experience. It also fostered a bit of healthy competition between our branches.
How have your employees responded to Shine A Light?
Every year, the directors of our company do a roadshow of all branches to set out our plans for the coming financial year. This year, we included Focus Ireland as a key initiative for the group, and it was warmly received by all.
What does Shine A Light mean to you?
Shine A Light is an important night and a focal point in bringing the issue of homelessness to the forefront. However, it is only one night in the year. If it happens to be the night that we reach or exceed our donation target, then it becomes a special night – but we can do more. This year the project changes for us. We will not stop at one night but will be maintaining our focus in supporting this issue throughout the year.
How can businesses address issues like homelessness?
We feel that our business is obliged to help alleviate the problem in whatever way possible. It is only through the collective action and attention of everyone in the community – especially businesses – that real progress can be made in alleviating these seemingly insurmountable social issues.
Businesses that get involved in Shine A Light will help real people in need, while bringing an important social issue to light. Our experience shows that it will also help galvanise your teams around a worthy objective. Most importantly, it’s the right thing to do.