Pauline McLynn urges Ireland to join Ireland’s Great Get Together

Pauline McLynn urges Ireland to join Ireland’s Great Get Together

People can hold events (like a BBQ or Movie Night) this May Bank Holiday Weekend -and raise vital funds to help prevent family homelessness

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Pauline McLynn urges Ireland to join Ireland’s Great Get Together

Pauline McLynn, who starred in legendary comedy Fr. Ted, teamed up with Focus Ireland today to launch Ireland’s Great Get Together which aims to raise funds to prevent family homelessness.

Pauline called on people nationwide to sign up to Ireland’s Great Get Together which takes place on May Bank Holiday weekend, May 4th-6th. This is the second year of Focus Ireland’s Great Get Together which sees people hold events such as a coffee morning, a movie night or BBQ and everyone who attends donates to help Focus Ireland’s work.

Focus Ireland said they need this support more than ever as a record total of nearly 10,000 people are homeless in Ireland.  Shockingly nearly 4,000 of them are children (In 1614 families). They do not have that most basic need – a secure and permanent home.  These children are often living with their families in one room in emergency accommodation such as hotels or homeless hubs.  They do not have their own bedroom or somewhere safe to play and families often have nowhere to cook.

Focus Ireland research has shown that even a short time being homeless can have a very damaging impact on a child. The charity works through its specialist family and child support services to help protect children every day from the impact of homelessness.

Now you can make a real difference and support this important work in a very a simple and impactful way.  All you have to do is register for Ireland’s Great Get Together, pick the kind of event you would like to do and invite people to come along. Then your guests make a donation to fund Focus Ireland’s work to prevent family homelessness in Ireland – it’s that simple!

Launching Ireland’s Great Get Together for Focus Ireland, Pauline McLynn said;  “I absolutely love gatherings of friends and family – it’s an important ritual in all our busy schedules to bring people together  to chat and have a bit of fun.  The strength of Ireland’s Great Get Together is that, while you’re having fun and connecting you can also make a powerful contribution against homelessness.”

She added:  “I am really concerned – and shocked – by the awful crisis of homelessness in our country.  It’s heart-breaking to see how this crisis has escalated with so many families being forced into homelessness by spiralling rents or by an unexpected life event such as ill health, relationship breakdown or financial difficulties. I think our society has always been a caring nation and I believe people will respond wholeheartedly to this fantastic idea, and host great get togethers  nationwide.

Meanwhile, Pat Dennigan, CEO, Focus Ireland said; “Last year was our first Ireland’s Great Get Together event and the money raised went directly to helping us provide permanent homes for families who were homeless.  Focus Ireland manages to help at least one family a day to secure a home.  However, at least 3 more families still become homeless that same day so the crisis deepens.”

He added: “The May Bank Holiday is always a time when family and friends come together to relax, catch up and enjoy themselves.  However, many families and individuals who are homeless can’t do this as they have no place to call home and are stuck in hotels or hostels.”

It would be great if when families and people come together in their homes, workplaces or local clubs this May Bank Holiday we could all give a thought to the 10,000 people who are homeless and  many more at risk.  You can hold a get together and also really make an impact to help prevent more families and children from experiencing homelessness.”

To register your event, visit www.focusireland.ie to download a host pack and find some great ideas for your get together.   Movie Nights, tea parties, sing-songs, children’s events, yoga sessions, hikes, dinner gatherings, day trips, BBQ’s, sports club events, picnics, coffee mornings and book clubs are just some of the ideas to be found here.

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