Led by Managing Director Declan Flynn, the team spent the night of Wednesday 30th November sleeping on the street in front of the firm’s Montgomery Street base. This followed the directors joining Lisney staff in taking part in Christmas street collections throughout the day in aid of the Simon Community.
Taking place at the start of Homelessness Awareness Week, the event was the latest in a series of fundraising activities which Lisney has carried out in support of its official charity partner. Since the launch of the partnership early in 2016, the agency has raised over £13,000 – having set a target of £10,000 for the year - for what is Northern Ireland’s leading homeless charity.
Pictured right to left are Ciaran O'Kane, Nicky Finnieston, Declan Flynn, David McNellis and Gareth Johnston
Declan was joined in the sleep-out by David McNellis, Gareth Johnston, Nicky Finnieston and Ciaran O’Kane. Speaking after completing the sleep-out, Mr Flynn said:
“The directors were keen to reaffirm our support for the Simon Community in tackling the growing problem of homelessness and felt the sleep-out was an effective way to shine a light on the issue of homelessness and encourage people to provide donations.
“To have raised over £8,000 so far from just this event alone is fantastic, and people can still donate by visiting justgiving.com/lisneysleepout. The sleep-out brings our annual total for the year to over £13,000 which really is a great effort from the staff and one which I’m very proud of.
“We now have a small sense of what it must be like to sleep rough and were humbled by the support we received and the generosity of our donors who gave to such a great cause.
New figures recently revealed that 4,100 families with children across Northern Ireland do not have a permanent home, while recent figures have also revealed that more than 50 families or individuals declare themselves homeless in Northern Ireland each day. Hopefully our efforts give the charity some small measure of help providing vital services to those in need.
Lisney launched its partnership with the Simon Community NI, which provides housing for the homeless and advice for those at risk of becoming homeless, in early 2016. So far staff have raised money by taking part in several physical challenges such as Belfast City Marathon, Hard as Oak and walking the Camino Trail as well as a number of less strenuous challenges within the office, one notable success being their weekly Raise Some Dough bake sale.
Brian Shanks, Fundraising Co-ordinator for the Simon Community NI, said:
“We are so grateful for the support of Lisney. Over the past year they have shown such dedication and enthusiasm for our cause and have raised a fantastic sum of money for our frontline homelessness services.”