COPE Galway

  • The 7th Annual Business Leaders Sleepout event takes place tonight in aid of COPE Galway’s Homeless Services.

    This is COPE Galway’s biggest and longest fundraising event of the year and will see 32 people from Galway’s business community sleeping rough for 12 hours from later this evening, 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 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.

    Sharon Fitzpatrick is the Head of Development with COPE Galway and told Midwest News today that the sleepout raises much needed funds and awareness of the current situation in Galway.

  • Hundreds of people are expected to brave the cold water tomorrow to take part in the annual Christmas Day swim for COPE Galway.

    This is the 29th year of the event, which takes place at Blackrock, Salthill from 10am to 1pm on Christmas Day.

    The swim raises funds to support COPE Galway's work with the homeless, those suffering from domestic abuse and with their senior support services.

    As 2018 draws to a close, COPE Galway is working with and supporting over 830 households, and funds from tomorrow's swim to directly towards keeping these services operating.

    Up to 500 people are expected to take part in tomorrow's swim, watched by thousands more.

  • COPE Galway has today launched a new booklet today, to remember the women who lived and worked in the former Magdalen Laundry in Galway.

    The Magdalen Laundry operated on Forster Street from 1870 to 1984.

    The convent building associated with the laundry is to become a new state-of-the-art centre for women and children who experience domestic abuse in Galway.

    The new facility is urgently needed as the Waterside House building - currently being used for COPE Galway's domestic abuse service - is unfit for purpose and does not provide enough space for those looking for safe refuge.

    Last year, the organisation was unable to accomodate 258 women and their 441 children who sought refuge.

    Jacqui Horan, CEO of COPE Galway, told Midwest News that - after years searching for a new facility - the Sisters of Mercy offered the charity a gift of the convent building in the heart of Galway City, which will now undergo a €4 million renovation to provide a domestic abuse refuge.

  • A Galway charity is appealing to private property owners to help with the homeless problem.

    A one-day census by COPE Galway has found 174 households from across the city and county living in emergency accommodation - which is a 20 percent increase on last year.

    COPE's Martin O'Connor says they're looking for housing units that could be used to provide extra accommodation.

  • A major housing rally will take place outside the Dail this lunchtime.

    The event is being organised by a number of groups and coalitions including the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Sinn Fein and The Union of Students in Ireland.

    Protesters are calling for 'radical changes' to the government's housing policies.

    Meanwhile, COPE Galway says the homeless situation in Galway is worse than ever.

    Their most recent one-day census carried out two weeks ago identified 199 adults and 197 children as living in emergency accomodation.

    Of this figure, 86 were families.

    COPE Galway says these are very different to the official homeless figures reported last week by the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government, which listed 68 families and 154 children as homeless in the entire west region of Galway, Mayo & Roscommon.

    Martin O'Connor, assistant CEO of COPE Galway says the official figures do not include people sleeping rough, or the growing numbers of families without a home who are staying with friends and relatives.

    He told Midwest News that the Department's figures are not an accurate reflection of the extent of homelessness in Galway

  • Over 900 swimmers braved the conditions to take part in the COPE Galway annual charity swim on Christmas Day.

    This was the 30th year of the Christmas morning swim in Salthill to support the charity's services for people experiencing homelessness and domestic abuse.

    This Christmas, COPE Galway also provided 390 Christmas dinners to the 14 lunch clubs for older people in Galway city and county, and continued to provide meals over the Christmas period to over 150 Meals on Wheels customers.

    While about 900 people braved the waters of Galway Bay to raise funds for the charity, about 6,000 people arrived in Salthill to support them and cheer them on.

    COPE Galway have thanked the Gardai, Galway Lifeboat Service, Civil Defence and lifeguards for their assistance with the event, as well as all the volunteers who signed up for the morning.