Simulated Big Rebel Sleep Out 2020 to take place on 25 April

Focus Ireland has today confirmed that its Cork fundraising event – The Big Rebel Sleep Out- will take place as scheduled on Saturday, 25th April but with a new format due to the Covid-19 public health emergency.

Focus Ireland in Cork has announced today that it will be staging the BIG REBEL SLEEP OUT next month as a ‘simulated’ sleep out by asking participants to sleep out in the safety and security of their own homes or gardens in light of the current health restrictions and protocols resulting from the Covid-19 emergency.

Focus Ireland, who has teamed up with Cork City FC, has called for Corkonians to sign up to take part in the simulated BIG REBEL SLEEP OUT on Saturday, 25th April. Participants may choose to sleep in their gardens or couch surf (representing many of the ‘hidden homeless’) for one night to help raise vital funds to help tackle homelessness in Cork, as well as abiding by public health and social-distancing measures.

Speaking today, Ger Spillane, Focus Ireland Regional Manager for the Mid & South West, said “The impact of the Covid-19 emergency is affecting everyone. But it will come as no shock that those experiencing homelessness in our societies are extremely vulnerable to the risks of Covid-19 – not only are people who are experiencing homelessness more likely to have underlying health issues, they are unable to follow the most basic Covid-19 recommendations – stay at home and keep a ‘social distance’ from other people.”

Mr. Spillane added “During these difficult times our work here in Cork continues and we need the support of the people of Cork now more than ever to allow us to continue to deliver our services throughout the wider Cork region. I will be playing my part by simulating a sleep out in my own garden on the night. It’s an exercise of building awareness of the issue homelessness while also generating much needed funds to assist us to deliver our services.”

Supporting the initiative, Éanna Buckley, Cork City FC Operations Manager added “We are very happy to support this event with Focus Ireland. The Rebels here in Cork can lead by raising awareness and challenging homelessness – we urge the people of Cork, it’s men, women and children, to participate. As a community club, we believe it is imperative to promote and assist worthy causes, and we are delighted to again to be working with Focus Ireland on what is a very important issue. We would urge all of our supporters to take part in this event and the ongoing excellent work being done by Focus Ireland.”

Concluding, Dick White of Focus Ireland, said “Our simulated BIG REBEL SLEEP OUT will take place in our own homes and gardens on 25th April. It’s a very challenging time for us, as Covid-19 has forced us to postpone or cancel a lot of planned fundraising events but we were able to think on

our feet and have adapted the Big Rebel Sleep Out to be a simulated one. The money raised through this initiative really helps our work challenging homelessness and changing lives in Cork as we can do more with more resources, particularly during this difficult and unprecedented time. This fundraising initiative is an opportunity for people who may be staying home and looking for ways to help. We think this would be a great way for everyone to pull together and really help people who are most at risk as a result of homelessness. Thank you everyone who has signed up already – your support is more powerful than ever and will help us to make a difference to the lives of so many more families and individuals.”

Focus Ireland works with families and individuals who are experiencing homelessness or in danger of losing their homes across the county of Cork and throughout Ireland. We provide 45 homes in Cork for households who were previously homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in addition to an extensive Advice and Information service, Youth Housing program and Housing First initiative.

The SIMULATED Big Rebel Sleep Out will now take place in the safety and security of your own home or garden, with a significant online presence through our Every Day Hero funding pages, messages and videos online on the night of the 25th April across all channels operated by Focus Ireland, Cork City FC and Red FM.

For more information and your funding pack on this Simulated Big Rebel Sleep Out contact Dick White at dick.white@focusireland.ie or by phone 086 8223690.

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