16 December 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Nollaig na mBan or Women’s Christmas – the day when women traditionally get together for a knees-up after their hard-work during Christmas, is a thriving tradition in Cork, and for over a decade Cork Simon Community has hosted Women’s Christmas Lunches in Cork city and county, celebrating women and companionship and raising much needed funds for people who are homeless.
This coming Nollaig na mBan, Cork Simon’s Women’s Christmas Lunches, taking place on Inchydoney Lodge and Spa on January 2nd at and at Maryborough House Hotel on January 9th will celebrate women’s solidary with all funds raised from the lunches dedicated to women’s services at Cork Simon.
Special guest at the Maryborough House Hotel Lunch, broadcaster Deirdre O’Shaughnessy, will shine a light on homelessness as experienced by women through an insightful and warm-hearted discussion with experienced Cork Simon care staff, Colette O’Brien and Karen Songhurst.
Commenting on the importance of the event, broadcaster and journalist, Deirdre O’Shaughnessy said: “The causes of and results of homelessness are not simple or straightforward. For women in homelessness, the issues can be even more complex, with families breaking down and children bearing the brunt. Tackling the homeless crisis requires serious resources, and I’m delighted to be helping Cork Simon fundraise for their essential women’s services with this celebration of Women’s Christmas. It’ll be a great day that makes a positive impact on Cork, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Highlighting the growing number of women who are experiencing homelessness Cork Simon Director, Dermot Kavanagh said: “The number of women we support has unfortunately more than doubled in the last five years and we see this trend continuing. Last year we supported 185 women, among them 41 women who had the traumatic experience of sleeping rough. Already, to the end of November this year, our Outreach Team have supported 49 women sleeping rough.”
“We find women’s experiences of homelessness can differ significantly to men’s with family conflict and domestic violence often the main triggers for homelessness among women. Oftentimes when women come to the shelter, it is their last resort and they may be at a crisis point. Being able to provide a warm, safe place such as our women’s corridor in the shelter and the support of designated female staff trained in issues specific to women can help to ease the trauma.”
Both Women’s Christmas Lunches will include a champagne reception, a three-course meal, entertainment, a raffle and some surprises to round-off the Christmas festivities.
Tickets for Cork Simon’s Women’s Christmas Lunch at
Inchydoney Lodge and Spa on 2 January 2015 are €50 each
Maryborough House Hotel on January 9th are €60 each.
Tickets are available from Kerry MacMahon in Cork Simon on 492 9410 / firstname.lastname@example.org