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Belvedere sleep-out of vital help to homeless: Sr Stan

By Sarah Mac Donald - 20 December, 2015

Last year, students raised €183,000 for homeless charities and this year's sleep-out is to aid Focus Ireland, the Peter McVerry Trust and Home Again.

Belvo sleep outWell known campaigners on homelessness have been paying tribute to the students of Belvedere College ahead of the launch of this year’s Christmas fast and sleep-out on the streets of Dublin.

Last year the school students raised €183,000, including one anonymous donation of €10,000, for the Peter McVerry Trust.

The money went to homelessness prevention and accommodation services provided by the charity.

This year three well-known charities will receive the money raised by the students from the sleep-out which takes place from Tuesday 22 December until Thursday 24 December.

Sr Stan Kennedy, founder of Focus Ireland said, “The incredible commitment of Belvedere College and their support over the years makes a massive difference to our work.”

“This type of help is vital and it’s true to say that without it our services to many people could end up being curtailed. Every euro counts and it’s amazing for Focus Ireland and the other charities that we have this great support every year.”

She added, “The money raised goes directly into supporting our work to change lives and to help people secure a home.”

Fr Peter McVerry SJ said the annual sleep-out was a very important source of income for the Peter McVerry Trust.

“The funding comes to us at a time when the demand for supports and services is at its highest so the funds raised means we can keep our doors open to those most in need,” he said.

John Molloy, director of Home Again, the charity which works with young homeless people said in a statement that, “The Belvedere boys sleep-out donation is always the single largest donation to Home Again.”

“It should be said that this donation is not just appreciated for its financial implications. It also represents a type of vindication of the work our staff do, letting them know that​ matters, and more importantly, that our young people deserve a ‘leg-up’ in society.”

The sleep-out has been running for thirty-two years and has become part of Christmas in Dublin.

The students are hoping the recent storms don’t make a comeback. Normally, they sleep in a tent, provided by the army. But one year a gale was blowing on the first night so the tent was evacuated and everyone spent the night under the GPO for safety reasons.

A Facebook page with news of a Sleep-Out selfie competition, and a twitter account will be updated over the course of the Sleep-Out. See @belvosleepout. As well as giving in person, people can also donate online at http://www.sleepoutdublin.ie/

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