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Show Me The Money: Members of Ennis And District Lions Club, Michael Brennan, President, Tommy Murphy, campaign co-ordinator, Tom Carey, secretary and Conor Smith, co campaign co-ordinator, launching their PHEW (Poverty Help Energy Waiver) campaign where the group are encouraging people to pass on their €200 electricity rebate, or part of, to those in need. Payments can also be made by scanning the QR code on their campaign poster. Photograph by John Kelly

Lions Club PHEW appeal aims to bring relief to families in need

Champion Chatter

THE latest fundraising initiative by Ennis Lions Club aims to fuel support for vulnerable local families who are facing the desperate choice between being able to pay for food or heat their homes.

With homes across the country benefiting from the government’s €200 energy credit the Lions Club is urging those who do not need the payment to donate it towards supporting families in need.

The local chapter has launched its aptly named PHEW (Poverty, Help, Energy, Waiver) appeal to bring relief to struggling families coping with rising fuel costs.

Tommy Murphy of Ennis Lions Club explains that while many people welcome the €200 rebate and it will give short-term relief for increasing costs, a lot of families do not need the payment.

The Lions Club in Ennis is supporting up to 50 families locally and sees first-hand the effect that fuel poverty is having. The group hopes that those who do not need all, or even some, of the rebate would be happy to donate it in a way that would make a massive difference to these families’ lives.

Tommy told the Clare Champion, “Fuel poverty is a massive issue out there. There’s a poverty line outside of all of our front doors and unless you cross that line most people never see it. The St Vincent de Paul and Clarecare do huge work in this area and through Friends of the Lions we support up to 50 families.

“The huge increases in fuel costs has seen families actually having to make the decision, do we eat or do we heat the place and it’s horrible.

“Imagine having to make a decision between spending your last few euros on food or fuel, but that is the reality for families.

“I’ve seen it myself, many of these are single mothers and these women are absolutely unbelievably inspirational. I would put them all into the Department of Finance and get them to do the budgeting for the country because they know exactly what is coming and what is going out.”

He continued, “I am in the fortunate position like many others that I do not need the €200. I am grateful for the government for putting this relief in place, but I wanted to be a position to be able to divert the money to others who needed it more.

“Speaking to friends, family and work colleagues they all felt the same way and when I mentioned the idea for the appeal they said to me ‘phew, that’s a relief’ because they did not want to refuse the €200 but wanted a vehicle to be able to redirect it to people who really, really need it.”

Posters highlighting the appeal will be put up throughout Ennis in the coming days and an online donation page has been set up at

One hundred per cent of all funds raised will be redirected to help  someone less fortunate in the community, with Tommy saying that a donation of any amount will be of benefit.

“There are a lot of people around the country that do not need the €200 and we are asking that they consider donating it, even a part of that would be a lovely gesture. The country has been absolutely magnificent with the whole Ukrainian issue, it has been amazing, yet unfortunately we have a poverty issue on our own doorstep that we can’t ignore either.

“If you are in a position whereby you do not have to make a choice between food or fuel then please consider giving some or all of the €200 and we will get it to the people who really, really need it.”

The Lions Club of Ennis formed in 1976 and is actively involved in serving humanitarian needs in the community.

Its motto “We Serve” is reflected in the many local and international projects undertaken each year by the club. The club’s focus is on engaging with youth, reaching out to the less well off or in financial distress, assisting in relieving hunger and protecting our environment.

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