It would take more than a global health pandemic to stop Northern Ireland’s leading homelessness charity, Simon Community, from hosting their award-winning and popular One BIG Sleep Out.
Back for its third consecutive year, the event, which is sponsored by Blue Clarity Design Services, will take place on Friday 6th November with a small twist. Instead of sleeping out at Stormont, the charity is encouraging people, workplaces, community groups and families to get involved whenever and wherever by hosting a virtual or socially distanced event in their garden, living room or place of work.
In a year where major fundraising events were cancelled; the charity was faced with the strains of homelessness and COVID-19 and now more than ever needs the support of businesses and the public.
Speaking about the challenging year, Jim Dennison, Chief Executive at Simon Community NI commented: “Covid-19 has been a daunting experience for many but for those without a safe home to isolate in, it’s been particularly scary. At a time when government asked people to stay indoors, those without somewhere to go were asked to further distance themselves from society and remain on housing waiting lists for longer. I believe 2020 has highlighted the true importance of a home and it is because of this that we’re asking people to give up theirs for one night to help us raise the funds needed to provide shelter and support to individuals throughout Northern Ireland.”
Speaking about One BIG Sleep Out at Home, Joanne McCallister, Head of Income Generation at Simon Community NI detailed: “One BIG Sleep Out is our flagship event and last year, we welcomed over 160 participants, staff, ex-clients and volunteers to Stormont for a night of fun and awareness raising. This year’s twist of sleeping out at home will allow participants to get creative and really make the night something special to them. Sleep under the stars with your other half, throw a pyjama party for the kids, get your pets involved, host an office Zoom meeting with a difference. Whatever you do, do it at home and do it for Simon.”
Simon Community works hard each day to prevent people from experiencing homelessness and that is why 99.1p in each £1 raised will go directly towards providing shelter, support and financial assistance for those who need the charity most.
Registration costs £10 per person or £15 per family, with the first 100 sign ups receiving a free One BIG Sleep Out at Home branded beanie. To sign up for One BIG Sleep Out at Home, taking place on Friday 6th November, visit simoncommunity.org/events.