Cirdan has two teams running in the Belfast Marathon Relay this year, with one of the team members set to run the full 26.2 miles – fair play! The goal of participating in the marathon is to raise funds for our nominated charity this year, Welcome Organisation- a local Belfast charity that seeks to help, support and provide aid to those who are homeless and at risk of repeat homelessness.

Kieran Hughes from Welcome Organisation with some of the marathon runners from Cirdan.

Kieran Hughes, Fundraising Manager of the Welcome Organisation truly opened our eyes to homelessness when he visited Cirdan HQ in Lisburn. The information and alarming statistics highlighted how homelessness is affecting people today in the streets of Northern Ireland.

  • In 2017/2018 the number of households presenting as homeless in Northern Ireland was 18,573
  • Of those 11,889 households (64%) were accepted as full duty applicants
  • Around 1/3 are in Belfast
  • Around 57% are single, mainly young males
  • In the three months between Oct-Dec 2018, 66 different women used their ‘Crisis Accommodation for Women’ service
  • Life expectancy of a homeless person in the UK is 44 years old.

About the Welcome Organisation

The Welcome Organisation provides a range of potentially life-saving services to around 1,400 people affected by homelessness across greater Belfast every year. All of their services are based on the principles of harm reduction delivered through low-threshold services. The organisation is recognised for accepting people ‘where they are at’, as opposed to where others think they should be. The team work tirelessly in offering a range of services including a Drop-in Centre, Street Outreach service, Crisis Accommodation for Women, Floating Support service and Welcome Home projects.

In brief, the services involve:

  • Street Outreach team is on the streets of greater Belfast from 7am to 2am every day of year
  • Crisis Accommodation for Women provides shelter for some of the most vulnerable women in Belfast
  • Floating Support provides ongoing assistance to those who have now accessed accommodation
  • Welcome Home is a creative arts upcycling project that encourages people who use our service to get involved in upcycling, painting, sewing, woodwork, etc.- items created are then sold and the income is reinvested in our services.

After the marathon, we will get the baking hats on and host a coffee morning in the office to raise any last minute funds we can, as well as organise a furniture collection round to support the charity’s upcycling project. Last year we managed to raise £1400 for another very worthy and much needed charity, PIPS Suicide Prevention and Bereavement Support Services.  So here’s hoping we can reach that amount again if not, beat it!

If you would like to make a donation through our Just Giving page, please click the donate button below.

Many thanks,

#Team Cirdan