Irish actor Cillian Murphy has been announced as the campaign ambassador for Radio NOVA’s 2016 ‘Help Our Homeless Radiothon’ in aid of Focus Ireland.

The actor has teamed up with Radio NOVA for the two day event which will see the Dublin station turn over its airwaves to raise €40,000 from donations from the public and local businesses. A special call centre will be set-up at Radio Nova’s HQ in the Dublin docklands with Focus Ireland staff manning the phones to accept donations during the 48 hours charity pledge drive.

NOVA’s Radiothon represents an urgent appeal for donations to help Focus Ireland’s vital work to help those who are homeless and who are at risk of homelessness. The campaign is timely as for the first time, more than 5,000 people across Ireland are homeless. This includes more than 700 families and over 1,600 children across the country.

Cillian Murphy has supported Focus Ireland’s work on several occasions for many years and the Cork native will once again lend his support to the charity through his involvement in the ‘Help Our Homeless Radiothon’. Speaking ahead of the event, Cillian said, “Homelessness is a problem that is very, very visible in our cities around the country and you can’t really escape it so it’s something that I thought I’d help out with. The Radiothon is a great idea, very proactive and that’s the kinda thing I like to support. It’s hard to imagine what it’s like not to have a home but that’s the reality facing hundreds of families with children, individuals and young people across Ireland. Homelessness has a terrible impact on people’s lives, especially on the lives of children. We can all play our part and help by supporting the Radio NOVA Radiothon which will raise money for Focus Ireland who are working hard to support families and individuals during this incredibly stressful time.”

This is the second year of Radio NOVA’s ‘Help Our Homeless Radiothon’, which raised over €30,000 in just two days in 2015. CEO of Radio NOVA, Kevin Branigan, said the station intends to build on that success this year by increasing its self-imposed target by almost 50% to €40,000. He said: “We were overwhelmed by the phenomenal support our listeners showed last year to help us raise money for this vital cause. Sadly, the homeless crisis has deepened over the past 12 months and we will now hold another Radiothon to help Focus Ireland meet the increasing demand for their services. We are delighted to have Cillian on board with us this year. We are confident that, like last year, our 150,000 listeners will not be found wanting and make this year’s event even bigger and better than ever in 2016.”

Focus Ireland is working hard to react to the reality that one third of the people who are now homeless is child which is a shocking reminder of just how serious the homeless crisis has become. Focus Ireland’s family team supports families and children who are homeless and works to help them secure a home. The charity helps at least 15 to 20 families to secure a home each month (often in co-operation with local authorities and other NGO’s) but with over 60 families becoming homeless every month last year the charity says the need for their services has never been greater.

John O’Haire, Dublin Area Services Manager from Focus Ireland says, “Our staff are working hard to support these families and everyone that comes into our services every day but we really depend on donations to raise vital funds to make sure our services can cope with the rising demand. Every day Focus Ireland is changing the lives of hundreds of people who are struggling; people who are rough sleeping, and families that are squeezed into one room in emergency accommodation. With the support of Radio NOVA’s listeners we can help even more people. Every donation will help us to directly support those who have lost their homes and also help fund our work to prevent others from becoming homeless in the first place.”

Radio NOVA and Focus Ireland are now calling on the public to support the ‘The Help Our Homeless Radiothon’ on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th February. From funds raised, Focus Ireland will receive 89 cent out of every euro received going directly towards frontline homelessness services.

Radio NOVA broadcasts to Dublin, Kildare, Meath & Wicklow on FM and nationwide via its smartphone apps and on the Irish Radio Player. The station launched in 2010 and has steadily grown from strength to strength, with 150,000 listeners as per the last JNLR radio ratings. *

Full information on the Help Our Homeless Radiothon can be found by visiting:
* JNLR Ipsos/MRBI 2015/3, Dublin Commuter Belt Weekly Reach

Media Enquiries to Michelle Moran 086 468 0442

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