Leading commercial property agent Lisney has selected the Simon Community NI as its official charity partner for 2016.
Throughout the year, Lisney’s directors and employees will take be taking part in a range of activities to raise funds for what is the firm’s first ever official charity partner.
Northern Ireland’s largest homeless charity, the Simon Community NI, provides housing for the homeless and advice for those at risk of becoming homeless in Northern Ireland. The charity aims to facilitate those in need throughout the transition back into independent living.
The number of households presenting as homeless in Northern Ireland in 2014/2015 reached over 19,500, with reasons including domestic violence, breakdown in family arrangements and financial stresses.
This figure highlights the severity of the homelessness problem across Northern Ireland, presenting a very worthwhile cause for the commercial property agents to champion.
The money raised by Lisney will assist the charity in providing vital resources for those in need. Of particular interest to the company is the Simon Community’s 24 hour helpline, a service privately funded by the charity through donations which offers invaluable advice to callers.
Brian Shanks, Fundraising Coordinator for the Simon Community NI, said:
“We are very excited about our new partnership with Lisney. It ‘s great to see businesses giving back to the community and Lisney is setting a great example to others. It is also a wonderful opportunity for us to expand our outreach to local people in need.
“In a way, our jobs are very similar in that we both find property for our customers. In our case, it’s putting a roof over someone’s head, and in Lisney’s case it’s finding suitable premises from which companies can operate, so there is a sense of shared purpose and synergy there.
“The great struggle surrounding homelessness is the lack of human interaction and alienation people can experience when they are invisible to those around them. This partnership is another step in the right direction to increase awareness of the severity and realness of the situation, and thus making those in need more visible to more people.”
Declan Flynn, Managing Director of Lisney, said:
“I have always been struck by the generosity of our staff when we’ve been involved in various fundraising events for charities in the past so it felt like a natural step for us to select an official charity partner.
“This partnership allows us to focus all our efforts on a local charity that tackles a specific local need.
“We have a close-knit team here at Lisney and many of us will be taking part in events, such as marathons and sky dives, to raise money for the charity. I’m also keen for our staff to visit locations where the Simon Community is operating to see for themselves the work they do first hand and pledge support where they can.
“We believe that in selecting the Simon Community as our first charity partner we can directly help those most vulnerable in our society in a number of ways and are looking forward to the challenge.
“It is all too easy to take for granted the comfort and security of a stable home, but the transition between having a permanent residence and not having one at all can happen incredibly fast.
“The expression ‘There, but for the grace of God, go I’, came to mind when I first spoke to Brian and learned more about the services Simon provides. With this partnership we hope to support the Simon Community in aiding those victim to a plight that, at the moment, doesn’t always garner the attention it deserves.”