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Tag Archives: Jackie Bonfield

Simon sleep out at Thomond Park

Mid West Simon will host its inaugural corporate sleep out at Thomond Park, Limerick on Saturday, November 12. The group is aiming to raise funds to support its work and it is also focusing on raising awareness of the homeless situation in the region. “While many of the statistics that are reported in the media are Dublin-centred, we have an equivalent problem in the Mid-West. As in the rest of the country, building in the Mid-West came to a complete standstill during the recession and we are now seeing the results, which is a dramatic shortage of affordable accommodation,” Mid West Simon general manager Jackie Bonfield said. In 2006, 93,419 houses were built nationally but by 2014, the number of new house builds had reduced to 11,016. The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) notes Ireland will have to build 25,000 residential houses per year in order to cope with the housing crisis. “Consecutive governments have relied on the building …

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Simon helps double income familes

MID West Simon, who operate food banks in Ennis and Kilrush, said double income families are increasingly availing of their services. In addition, 550 people in the county are having some or all of their food supplied by the food banks. Mid West Simon general manager, Jackie Bonfield, told The Clare Champion that families with students about to attend third level are amongst those who are now using food banks and she is encouraging people in similar circumstances to also do so. “In recent months, we have had a number of double and middle income families, with both parents working, getting in touch with us. This is particularly relevant at the moment because families who have teenagers about to start at third level are feeling the financial strain. People who are finding it difficult to manage rent, mortgage repayments and other bills are often double income families,” Jackie Bonfield revealed. “We have recently secured food with long shelf-life and we …

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Crumbs of comfort for hard-pressed families

Mid West Simon has launched an emergency food appeal after it emerged that some families in Ennis and Kilrush were struggling to put food on the table. The charity told The Clare Champion that they “urgently need support in order to maintain our vital food banks in Ennis and Kilrush for families under severe financial pressure”. Mid West Simon general manager, Jackie Bonfield, said people who cannot pay for food are sometimes too embarrassed to ask for help. “It is difficult to understand how food poverty can be experienced by families or individuals in Clare but the facts are so clear. People are suffering behind closed doors and are often too ashamed to ask for help. Low incomes, high rents, high mortgage payments and increasing utility bills are forcing people to choose between food and bills,” she revealed. The most recent CSO statistics indicate that over 15% of the population is at risk of poverty, with more than 8% living …

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Simon feeding 200 in West Clare

THE Simon Community-run food bank in Kilrush has been inundated with requests for food and household items for West Clare families since it opened three weeks ago. The food bank is the first of its kind opened in the town and Mid-West Simon Community manager, Jackie Bonfield says the resource has been flooded with requests for aid. “We have 49 families registered and three single people registered in Kilrush to collect food from us every week. It’s a huge number. If you take an average of three children per family, you are talking about 200 people. It’s not just Kilrush town. We are getting people from across West Clare. Every day we are seeing new faces,” Ms Bonfield said. She has found that those using the food bank are from a cross-spectrum of people. “Some people are in social housing and we’re also meeting people who are in private rented accommodation, some getting rent supplement but some of whom are …

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Simon says, sleep out in Kilrush

Almost 50 people have accepted the challenge to spend a night sleeping rough in Kilrush this Friday  but there is still room for more, according to organisers of the Mid West Simon Community Sleep Out Challenge. Volunteers will sleep under the stars in West Clare to raise awareness and funds to support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary. “The event is not attempting to replicate the serious situation of being homeless but is an attempt to bring an awareness of the crisis to the forefront of everyone’s mind, for one evening,” explained Jackie Bonfield, manager of Mid West Simon Community. “We can in no way understand the feelings of loss, vulnerability and fear that is felt by those in a homeless situation, as the participants will return in the morning to their homes and move on with their life in security. However, the fundraising efforts will go a long way to help …

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