O'Moore Park sleep-over for homeless

Laois GAA teams up with Simon Community to help the homeless

O'Moore Park sleep-over for homeless
By Stan Henderson news@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

Laois GAA has joined forces with the Simon Community for a unique fundraising event to help the homeless.

On Friday October 21 O'Moore Park Portlaoise hosts Sleep out for Simon. The event was officially launched in Laois County Council last week.

The Midlands Simon Community and the Laois Friends of Simon is appealing to everyone to get involved in the sleep out to

Funds that are raised in Laois stay in Laois where they are used to provide a wide range of support services for those who are homeless.

Cormac Lally is founding member and current vice-chairperson of the Midlands Simon Community.

“This will be an important event to raise awareness as to the existence of homelessness in the county and the need to raise much needed funds to support the work of the Midlands Simon Community. The image of homelessness that some people have is one that is confined to the large urban areas of the state; unfortunately it is a reality also here in Laois and the other Midlands Counties. Organisations like the Midlands Simon are much needed and extremely valuable to those who need us. Currently the Midlands Simon Community is supporting over 30 people at any given time within the county.”

Peter O'Neill Vice Chairman of Laois GAA said the county board was delighted to have been asked to get involved.

“The Laois GAA is delighted to be on board with the Midlands Simon Community and to be supportive of such a worth cause,” he said.

Laois Rose Kate Hyland said that she will be definitely Sleeping out for Simon.

“If I can help to put a roof over someone’s head I’ll be there, sure isn’t it well worth it.” she said.

Vice-chairperson of Portlaoise Men’s Shed Joe Murphy said.

“I fundraise for Midlands Simon every year through church gate collections. I am really looking forward to this event. I’m ex-army and know what it’s like to sleep on the side of a hill at night. The Midlands Simon Community is the best organisation in the country for raising awareness on homelessness, they nail it.”

It is hoped that the Sleep out will be the first year of what will become an annual fundraiser to provide regular and sustainable funds to run serives for the homeless .

The initiative was formally launched by Laois County Council, Cathaoirleach, Tom Mulhall. It is supported by Midlands 103fm.

Sponsorship cards are now available for those who wish to Sleep out for Simon.

The only items that fundraisers need are a sleeping bag, cardboard, a pillow, warm clothes and a hot water bottle if desired. Musicans are asked to take instruments along for a sing along session that will take place on the night.

For more information and sponsorship cards contact Noel Greene 087 9615766, Cormac Lally 0862416322 or Michael Martin 086 122342.

Midlands Simon Community and Laois Friends of Simon can be found on Facebook. The groups thank everyone who is or will be involved in any way.