Students stage ‘sleepout’ to highlight homelessness

Belvedere College pupils aim to raise €200,000 for charities through the event

Belvedere College students and past pupils during the school’s annual sleepout at the GPO, Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Belvedere College students and past pupils during the school’s annual sleepout at the GPO, Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Students from Belvedere College in Dublin have gathered at the GPO and Bank of Ireland building on College Green to take part in the secondary school’s annual “sleepout” in aid of homelessness charities.

This year’s sleepout aims to raise €200,000 for the Peter McVerry Trust, Home Again and Focus Ireland.

The event got underway at 11am on Thursday and will end on Christmas Eve.

“As Christmas approaches, for most of us happiness is the dominant mood,” said a spokesman for the initiative.

“However, for many on our streets, Christmas is just another cold day to endure.

“As more and more cuts are implemented, those who have been invisible even in the boom years remain so.

“Students of the sleepout will experience only a fraction of the suffering of Dublin’s homeless, but with the help of the public they will be able to raise enough money so that charities can supply the basic human rights to these people that they have been denied.”

Raising awareness

First established in 1983, the sleepout involves past and present Belvedere pupils sleeping on the streets of Dublin to raise funds and create awareness for a number of charities.

Donations can be made online.