With the hustle and bustle of Christmas ramping up, our natural inclination is to want to forget for a while the challenging times we’ve been through across the world during 2020.
Yet, in our experience, Christmas is a time when the Galway community comes together with genuine concern, resourcefulness and kindness – and are eager to make sure those who are struggling this Christmas have the support they need.
Here at COPE Galway, during COVID-19 restrictions, we have been finding ways to adapt our services and fundraising events so that we can continue to support people in the Galway community who experience homelessness, domestic abuse and older people in need of social and nutritional support.
At this time of year, you can usually find many communities all over Galway merrily shaking buckets and achieving amazing fundraising feats in aid of our services. However, with the COVID 19 restrictions, this activity is severely curtailed. We have less funding, less resources and less volunteers. Yet we are committed to doing all we can to support those who need it this Christmas time.
For 30 years, the annual COPE Galway Christmas Swim has played a vital role in raising the funds that we rely on each year. Last year, we raised almost €50,000, with over half raised from bucket collections on the day.
This year, for the first time in 31 years, we won’t be able to gather at Blackrock Tower in Salthill on Christmas morning due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, we are relying on swimmers and dippers to register and “swim where you are”, following strict safety precautions, over 10 days from December 21-30. We’re asking Galwegians at home and abroad to register online and we’ll post out a t-shirt. You can swim at your nearest beach and post a photo on social media of you braving the cold winter waters.
To help get the word out about this reimagined swim event, we sought help from local business, EZ Living Furniture, who eagerly stepped up to help us promote the event on their fabulous LED screen on the Tuam Road in Galway.
We are genuinely heartened by this kindness and by the support we receive on a daily basis from volunteers, our business and community supporters, and all who donate as we work together to reimagine events and campaigns in the wake of the various levels of restrictions this year. Thank you to you all.
Let’s help together.
To register for the swim, go to copegalway.ie/swim
COPE Galway is a local Galway organisation whose vision is for a community where every person is valued, cared for and supported at every stage of life. We understand, respect and respond to the needs of people who struggle with the challenges of homelessness and domestic abuse and support older people towards healthy and active ageing.