Large crowds in Longford for Sleep Out for Simon

Large crowds in Longford for Sleep Out for Simon

A large crowds turned up for this year’s Sleep Out for Simon, which took place on Good Friday, April 14 last, at Connolly Barracks.

Though it’s unclear so far exactly how much was raised for the Midlands Simon Community on Friday night, Fundraising Co-ordinator Noel Greene is happy with the amount of people who got involved.

“It was a very good night - very successful,” said Noel, who added that he was “tired but happy” following the night in the Barracks.

“We were delighted with it. The evening went off very well. It probably wouldn’t have been quite as big as last year, but it’s difficult enough to repeat that  and get people back a second year to go fundraising again, but it was a great event, enjoyed by all.”

Approximately 80 people took part in the event on Friday, according to Noel, who said that was a great number for Easter weekend.

“We’d like to thank everybody that took part and made it such a success. Thanks to all the participants and to all the people who sponsored the food and drinks and entertainment, and everyone that sponsored various bits and pieces.”

All of the money from the event hasn’t come in yet, so a total won’t be available for another week, but the Midlands Simon Community is  very grateful to anyone who took part.

In any given week, there are approximately 30 homeless people in the county of Longford - and those are just the ones who manage to make it into the services provided by the Midlands Simon Community.

Furthermore, only 1.5% of the Government’s total spend on homelessness is allocated to the  Midlands region, according to CEO of the Midlands Simon Community, Tony O’Riordan, who spoke to the Longford Leader about the issue ahead of this year’s event.

“Midlands Simon operates emergency beds for the midlands region, which people from Longford can access. And the difference between what it costs the State and the actual cost of running that service is 25 euros per bed per night,” he said.

“And that’s for 12 emergency beds. So every night of the year, just for that service, we have to raise €300. 

“That’s €300 by 365 days of the year and that’s a very significant challenge, just for that service. And that money is just going to keep the existing services open.”

For this reason, events like the annual Sleep Out for Simon are extremely important to the organisation.

To learn more about the Midlands Simon Community, visit www.midlandssimon.com.