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Corporate kindness extends beyond Christmas – it makes a vital difference year-round

15 November 2022

Jim Dennison Twitter Image

Simon Community NI’s Chief Executive Jim Dennison reflects on the generous corporate partners who have supported the charity through another challenging year and who are committed to delivering kindness not just at Christmas but are dedicated partners for the long-term.

As Northern Ireland’s leading and longest running homelessness charity, Simon Community provides 464 warm beds each night across 35 shelter and support services, supporting 636 people every day. The charity is at the forefront of community-led homelessness solutions, and in the background, supporting its vital work are its determined supporters, including a diverse range of corporate supporters donating time, skills, food and financial assistance.

Commenting on the increasing rates of homelessness and the role of corporate partners Jim Dennison, Chief Executive at Simon Community said:

“Every year brings new challenges and 2022 has seen a sharp rise in homelessness as the emergency measures put in place as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic were removed, leaving many more families, young people and adults vulnerable to becoming homeless. This, together with the emerging cost of living crisis, means many more will battle to keep a roof over their heads in 2023. The reality is we could be facing a potential homelessness disaster with the numbers of people becoming homeless predicted to rise by 22% in the next three years, meaning the support offered by our corporate partners is more vital than ever.”

The face of homelessness in Northern Ireland is also changing, with more and more young people being impacted. Nearly half of those needing help from Simon Community are now under the age of 25, and more women than ever are experiencing homelessness with around a third of those accessing the charity’s services female.

One of those the charity has helped is Kirsty who was offered temporary accommodation:

Kirsty and Faye

“In my mind, there was always a stigma associated with homelessness and I felt that other people would think less of me if they found out that I was moving into temporary accommodation. I was only 19 and pregnant and had never lived away from the family home before. It was the biggest change that I had ever experienced. I’m honestly really thankful to the staff in Conway Court for the support that they gave me. They made me feel safe and secure and completely changed my perception of what temporary accommodation is.”

Dennison said that along with giving their time to provide practical help, fundraising and donating, corporate partners are also important when it comes to raising awareness:

“The support from our corporate supporters working with us to find solutions and give people back their dignity, self-esteem and safety is more vital than ever and helps us navigate the ever-changing environment. With their support and by raising awareness, we are able to provide effective responses to real-time and future homelessness including our goal of purchasing and managing 50 private rental homes through our Creating Homes project. It will provide homes to those most in need, and in turn people’s lives around.”

Thank you to our Christmas Appeal Corporate Sponsors below:

Simon Community runs a 24/7 telephone service. If you, or anyone you know, is worried about homelessness, please call 0800-171-2222. If you’d like more information on how to get involved please visit