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Business Leader Sleepout Participants to Raise Funds for COPE Galway’s Homeless Services


The 7th Annual Business Leaders Sleepout comes at a time when the homeless situation in Galway is worse than ever, with COPE Galway’s most recent quarterly one-day census identifying 416 people availing of the local charity’s emergency accommodation over one night in November.

COPE Galway’s biggest – and longest – fundraising event of the year will see thirty-two people from Galway’s business community sleeping rough for 12 hours over Friday night (7th December) to raise awareness about homelessness in Galway and help raise funds for COPE Galway’s Homeless Services.

COPE Galway’s most recent quarterly one day census (conducted on Nov 21st to 22nd 2018) identified a total of 195 adults and 221 children as living in emergency accommodation provided directly by COPE Galway and in private emergency accommodation such as hotels and B&Bs. Of this figure 84 were families. There were also 27 people sleeping rough that night. With the homeless situation in Galway worse than ever, the organisation relies on the generosity of the Galway people to help them help those who need assistance most.

Martin O’Connor, COPE Galway assistant CEO commented, “In 2012, when the first Business Leaders Sleepout took place, COPE Galway emergency accommodation stays for families were averaging less than one month at a time. Today there are a small number of families who are over 2 years in emergency accommodation. Most of those requiring emergency accommodation stay there for an extended period of time due to difficulties in finding accommodation. We continue to see new weekly presentations of people becoming or about to become homeless, and numbers in emergency accommodation continue to grow.”

There is a general frustration that the problem of homelessness is not going away and that the funds for services are needed more than ever. The funds raised by this year’s Business Leader Participants are earmarked to fund:

  • COPE Galway Street Outreach Service, supporting rough sleepers
  • Practical and emotional supports for families living in emergency accommodation including counselling services, recreational activities and funding towards the cost of education
  • Support for individuals to access detox and treatment services and to support education and training opportunities

Since 2012, the Business Leader Sleepout has seen 131 local members of the Galway Business Community raise €527,000 in total. With another 32 participants signed up for this week’s 2018 Sleepout, COPE Galway values the excellent relationship it has with the local business community. Sharon Fitzpatrick, COPE Galway Head of Development, says “Our Business Leader Participants can see the progress made over the past 6 years; the funds that have been raised and the difference this has made to Galway’s homeless. Many business people and organisations continue to support COPE Galway throughout the year through other supports and initiatives, both financial and in kind. We couldn’t do the work we do without this support.”

Galway is encouraging members of the public who are out and about in Galway city on Friday night to come and show their support for the Business Sleepout participants and COPE Galway. Donations can also be made online at

Meanwhile, extra night-time accommodation is now available for people who are homeless and rough sleeping this winter in Galway City via the Cold Weather Response, with COPE Galway offering 21 extra beds at their Day Centre on Seamus Quirke Road. If members of the public become aware of anyone rough sleeping, please direct them here. The service is open Mon-Sat 5:30pm to 9am; Sunday 3.30pm – 9am and runs until April 22nd, 2019. Location: COPE Galway Day Centre, Westside House, Seamus Quirke Road, Galway H91 W243. Phone: 085 8009641 or 085 8009709 or email


Contact:  Sharon Fitzpatrick, Head of Development (Business Sleepout)
Martin O’Connor, Assistant CEO (Homeless Services) 091 778750

Note to Editor:

COPE Galway is a local Galway Organisation whose vision is an “Improved Quality of Life in a Home of your Own” for people affected by homelessness, women and children experiencing domestic abuse, and older people.

In 2017 COPE Galway worked with 1012 adults and 576 children affected by homelessness in Galway, including 242 families and 695 single people.

The organisation joins the national call for solutions to end the housing and homeless crisis. However, while national solutions are being progressed, COPE Galway believes that more immediate solutions can be put in place at a local level.

For more information:

Phone 091 778750 |  Email

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