Last Friday 3rd December, I along with 49 other business leaders took part in the annual COPE Galway Sleep Out. It was the tenth anniversary of the event which initially grew from an idea in 2012 where 5 people slept out until 6am and raised €7,000 on the night. Nine years later and over €1million has been raised to support this worthy cause. This December, COPE Galway is supporting 73 families with 200 children and over 80 single people living in emergency accommodation. The local organisation is supporting a further 41 single men and women and 13 families in transitional accommodation across the community of Galway.
COPE Galway will use the funds raised by the Business Leaders’ Sleep Out to develop and increase resources to support families and individuals while they remain for extended periods of time in unsuitable accommodation. This will range from continuing to expand and develop community supported housing, increased tenancy support and preventative work for men, women and families so they avoid homelessness.
I was personally humbled to take part and found the wet and blustery night a stark reminder of the challenges people face on an ongoing basis. To even imagine, that in Galway, our city in the West of Ireland, there are people young and old with families and small children who are anxious and unsure about where the will lay their heads tonight. It is hard to comprehend and yet it is a reality.
I salute COPE Galway for keeping this annual fundraiser alive throughout challenging times and I hope that you will consider supporting future events. I have included the link to the donation page below if you would like to make a contribution.