Homelessness highlighted by Simon Week

The issue of homelessness is being highlighted in Simon Communities right across the country in the second ever Simon Week. The ‘7 days of action against homelessness’ is running until October 11, with a wide variety of events underway across the country.

The Midlands Simon Community has a full programme of activities planned, with opportunities for people to find out more about the work of Midlands Simon, and many ways for people to show their support for those experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness in our community. Midlands Simon provides essential ongoing support and care to those affected by homelessness in Westmeath and across the Midlands, and this year has seen an increase in demand for services by approximately 25 per cent to date.

The very successful Race against Homelessness fun run took place in Athlone IT last Saturday October 3. It was the second year of the partnership between Midlands Simon and AIT.

This week will also see the launch of another partnership with AIT, the Graduate Intern Programme, which will provide two graduates of the Degree in Social Care with an invaluable 12 months’ experience of working in a professional social care service, and with an established team.

The very important role that volunteers play in Simon was also highlighted by a Volunteer Recognition Event which was officially opened by President McAleese in Dublin.

The week will also see representatives of Midlands Simon meet with Oireachtas members from the four midland counties and brief them on both the work of, and the challenges currently facing, Midlands Simon.

The Simon Shop in Sean Costello Street, Athlone is running a number of promotions over the course of the week designed to encourage people to discover the amazing value that is always on offer, and the benefits of shopping ethically to the local community.

A number of fundraising events are also planned, including the ‘Rally of the Midlands’ The rally will set off from Granard at 9.30am this Saturday October 10 to wind its way through all the midland counties, and will be passing through Athlone and Moate (around 11am ). The rally will then finish up in Portlaoise later in the day to a party in the plaza! A fun day out is guaranteed for all who come along. So come out and see the rally as it passes through and show your support by making a donation.

Leading the rally will be the Team Dakar Ireland bike, and rider, Philip Noone. Philip and Team Dakar Ireland will fly the Irish flag at one of the world’s toughest and most popular motor sport events, the Dakar Rally, which takes place in January 2010 in Argentina and Chile, and is regarded by many as the most difficult in the world. Midlands Simon is the official charity of Team Dakar Ireland.

Team Dakar Ireland will be asking all bikers who take part to make a donation of €20 to Midlands Simon on the day, or to take a sponsorship card!

Also being launched this week is a partnership between Midlands Simon Community and two Westmeath businesses, Circle of Life and Bee Hive Hair and Beauty. Customers of both businesses will be encouraged to make a donation to Midlands Simon over the next couple of months. Any time a donation is made the person will be automatically entered into a fantastic draw for a number of magnificent prizes.

Midlands Smon believes that everyone can make a difference, and these are just some examples of how people can help out. Contact the Midlands Simon Community at (090 ) 6444641 to find out more about the work, and the people they work with.


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