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29 Jun 2022

Support vital to helping Midlands Simon fight homelessness

Support vital to helping Midlands Simon fight homelessness

Support vital to helping Midlands Simon fight homelessness

PICTURED ABOVE From L to R: Tony O'Riordan (C.E.O, Midlands Simon Community), Bernadette O'Mahony (Board Member, Midlands Simon Community), Molly Buckley (Board Member, Midlands Simon Community), Paul Cullen (President, Tullamore Lions Club), Ronnie Colton (Tullamore Lions Club) and Willie Burns (Board Member, Midlands Simon Community) Picture: Jeff Harvey.

The Tullamore Lions Club is continuing its longstanding support of the Midlands Simon Community.

For many years the Tullamore Lions Club have been valued supporters of Midlands Simon Community. In 2019 though, one specific gesture by the Lions Club became a game-changer for Midlands Simon Community and allowed them to offer a whole new level of support to their Service Users.

Many of Midlands Simon Community's Service Users would have weekly medical appointments outside of the Midlands region, but unfortunately, the majority of their Service Users would not own a car and therefore could not travel, meaning that many of these appointments were missed. Such appointments are essential to their Service Users recovery plan, so it was an issue that Midlands Simon Community had to rectify.

Having approached the Tullamore Lions Club about this issue, their members came up with a very innovative solution. Liaising with Colton Motors in Tullamore, the Lions Club decided to lease a car from Colton Motors and in turn supply this car to Midland Simon Community for two years for use within their services.

Members of both the Tullamore Lions Club and the voluntary Board of Directors of Midlands Simon Community recently gathered at Colton Motors in Tullamore, where the Tullamore Lions Club presented Midlands Simon Community with a cheque for €9,600 to help with the running costs of the vehicle.

Speaking at the event, Tony O'Riordan (C.E.O, Midlands Simon Community) stated that “this initiative has made such a positive impact on our Services and Services Users. It has ensured that our Service Users are able to attend essential appointments, our staff have been able to help Service Users view accommodation and help them move into their new accommodation.

"Our Out of Hours Service have also been able to use this vehicle to bring practical supports to those who were rough sleeping throughout the Midlands. With this vehicle in place over the last two years, almost 300 people have been supported. This support just simply could not have been provided without the help of the Tullamore Lions Club.”

Paul Cullen (President, Tullamore Lions Club) also stated that “the Lions Club is a community service organisation and the partnership with Midlands Simon Community is a good example of how the club meets its community service role. Midlands Simon Community had a service need that we were able to assist them with and in doing that we learned a lot about the great work the Midlands Simon Community is doing in our community”.

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