Staff cycled 285km from Cork-Dublin to help prevent family homelessness in Ireland.
- Event at MacDonagh train station highlights 45 families in Ireland’s south-east are homeless
- Focus Ireland opens new Kilkenny office to build on its work in the city and county which originally started back in 2006.
- Earlier this year, Bord Gáis Energy renewed its partnership with Focus Ireland until 2021
Employees from Bord Gáis Energy made a pit stop in Kilkenny on Wednesday, 27 June as they cycled from Cork to Dublin to raise much-needed funds for Focus Ireland.
The fundraising initiative saw 40 Bord Gáis Energy employees cycle a gruelling 285km from Cork to Dublin over three days with the team stopping in Kilkenny to mark the opening of Focus Ireland’s Kilkenny office. The team from KCLR broadcasted live from the event and plenty of prizes and goodies were given away on the day.
Bord Gáis Energy has been working with Focus Ireland for the past three years and recently extended its partnership with the charity to 2021. To date, the partnership has supported over 7,000 families in need across the country.
The current homelessness crisis is the worst in the State’s history. There are 9,652 men, women and children homeless. According to Focus Ireland, there has been a substantial growth in the number of families homeless in the South East, up from 8 in March of last year to 45 families in March 2018, which is an increase of 462%. These families comprise of 67 adults and 64 children. The charity has recently opened an office in Kilkenny city to provide local support and to help prevent families falling into homelessness.
David Niblock, Focus Ireland Manager for Kilkenny and Waterford said: "Focus Ireland today officially opened a new office in Kilkenny city, as we continue to support men, women and children in the city, county and surrounding area. Focus Ireland has been working in Kilkenny city and county since 2006. This new office will provide Advice & Information, Tenancy Sustainment and Housing support services, with dedicated interview and consultation rooms. The new office will also be centrally located and wheelchair accessible.
The continued support of Bord Gáis Energy will mean Focus Ireland can prevent more families from falling into homelessness in the first place, and help to ensure that others already impacted can exit homelessness. Behind every number is a human story or stories; a man, a woman, a family who are now in a home – or never even became homeless in the first place because of the work of Focus Ireland. In 2017 this work meant we supported a record total of 14,000 people who were homeless or at risk."
Mark Prentice, Managing Director, Bord Gáis Energy said: 'Homelessness continues to be a major problem across the country and the team at Focus Ireland do a fantastic job every day at driving the agenda and helping those impacted. We were delighted to recently extend our partnership with Focus Ireland until 2021 and are committed to helping prevent family homelessness in Ireland.
I would like to thank all of the Bord Gáis Energy team who took part in this year’s cycle and to everyone who supported them. This is the third year of the cycle, which is one of many fundraising initiatives our staff take part in throughout the year to help support Focus Ireland’s work’.
Office-to-Office Cycle Route
About the Cycle route
- Tuesday 26 June: Whitegate Power Plant to Dungarvan with overnight in Dungarvan (approx. 70kms).
Wednesday 27 June: Dungarvan to Carlow with an overnight stay in Carlow (approx. 130kms). Dungarvan to Waterford will be along the Greenway (45km). The cycle will then head to Kilkenny city for a pit stop, and then into Carlow town.
- Thursday 28 June: Carlow to Warrington Place (approx. 85kms).
Key facts and stats from Focus Ireland
- The current homeless crisis is the worst in living memory as over 9,600 people are homeless. The vast majority of people who are homeless stay in emergency accommodation (like hostels or hotels) and a small number sleep rough. It is important to stress that there is a lot of good work being done without which this crisis would be even worse.
- In 2017, in partnership with the State, Focus Ireland helped over 700 families who were homeless to secure a home. Focus Ireland’s services worked to help over 14,000 people who were homeless or at risk of losing their homes. This is 500 more people than the charity helped in the whole of 2016.
- Bord Gáis Energy recently extended its partnership with Focus Ireland, which has already supported over 7,000 families in need. The extension, until 2021, will see an additional €1.2 million pledged to Focus Ireland.
- Figures for the whole of 2017 show a 17% increase in family homelessness. There was also a shocking 23% increase in the number of children homeless.
- Last year was the worst year for homelessness in the history of the state. More men, women and children experienced homelessness than ever before in our history, and they experienced it for longer. There is always a seasonal drop in the number becoming homeless every December.
About Bord Gáis Energy
- Established in 1976, Bord Gáis Energy is an energy supply and services company with a strong Irish heritage. In 2014 the company became part of the global Centrica plc Group. Bord Gáis Energy supplies energy and services to over 730,000 residential and business customers and, through its HomeCare brand, offers a range of boiler maintenance and repair services and innovative home automation products, including Hive Active Heating.
- Bord Gáis Energy’s goal is to be the helpful energy company and is always looking for ways to offer added value to our customers. The Bord Gáis Energy Rewards Club was set up in 2012 as a way of rewarding customer loyalty and currently has over 300,000 members. Bord Gáis Energy cares about its people and employs just under 300 staff in Ireland. www.bordgaisenergy.ie Twitter: @bordgaisenergy