Inspired by a guided visit to Fairgreen Hostel just prior to the first Covid-19 lockdown, Coffey Construction made the decision to formalise their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, choosing COPE Galway and three other charities to support in 2021.
“COPE Galway was really at the top of the list as a local charity who provide such a badly-needed service,” said Niamh McNulty, Health and Safety Manager at Coffey Construction. “In March 2020, myself and Gary Coffey, our Health, Safety, Quality and Environment (HSQE) Director and one of the Coffey family, went to the Fairgreen Hostel and met their fabulous manager, Donna O’Neill. To be honest, it was quite an emotional experience and very humbling, and we came away without any doubt in our minds that COPE Galway was the right charity with which to align ourselves.”
Originally envisaged as an interior refurbishment project, the onset of the pandemic meant the Coffey Construction team had to change tack. Thus, an alternative exterior project to rejuvenate the external courtyard took shape. The project involved the removal of an impractical gravel surface and replacing it with tarmac. The result has made a huge impact on how residents use the space.
Lockdowns and shutdowns pushed the project start date several times but, once underway, the Coffey crew got straight to work. Niamh, in praising the team involved, said, “You couldn’t say enough good about them, they were brilliant. We didn’t expect anything different!” Fairgreen Manager Donna O’Neill also paid tribute to Niamh and all the Coffey Construction team for their determination in seeing the project come to fruition. The team spent the week onsite and were, Donna noted, always friendly and respectful as they completed the work. She reflected on a particular highlight as “being able to host them for dinner in our resident dining room at Fairgreen one evening.”
Coffey Construction collaborated with supply chain partners, including IPL Street Products, O’Gorman Surfacing, Flaherty Plant Hire, Walsh Waste, and Larkin Engineering, who provided services and materials at their own expense to support the project. Niamh noted, “In reaching out to our partners, we were confident that they would want to help. It was encouraging and heart-warming to see their positive reactions. Larkin Engineering jumped at the project straight away, without even a second thought, as did all the companies we asked, to be fair. It was just great to get this response.
“The topic of homelessness has never been in the limelight as much as it is now; it is affecting so many people and is so critical,” Niamh continued, adding that she would encourage any company in a position to do so, to lend their support to COPE Galway. “Obviously, it is up to each company to make their own decisions. But for us, COPE Galway was right up there on the list of potential charities for our CSR programme, and we would certainly encourage other businesses to support COPE Galway too.