10 March 2023
By Elaine Murphy
Ready, Set, Sing & Strum! Focus Ireland and Today FM are calling on singers, musicians, performers, and buskers in Cork to join the fight against homelessness through The Big Busk for Focus Ireland, taking place on Friday, 10th March.
The Big Busk for Focus Ireland was launched by Today FM presenters Pamela Joyce & Matt Cooper and well-known Dublin-based busker, Roe Byrne. The campaign aims to raise €250,000 for Focus Ireland, which supports families affected by homelessness.
A record of 11,754 people are currently experiencing homelessness in Ireland, including 1,609 families and 3,431 children. In comparison to 8,914 people at the same time last year, homelessness is rapidly increasing, making this year’s efforts more important than ever.
During 2022, Advice & Information services helped 437 households in Cork. As of the end of January 2023 there were 585 adults homeless and 162 children officially recognised as homeless in Cork and Kerry. From youth housing and advice & information to long-term housing, local support is needed so Focus Ireland can continue to offer these services to the Cork community.
The Big Busk for Focus Ireland aims to confront the issue of homelessness and ignite discussion through performance art. On Friday, 10th March, Irish Rail and shopping centres across the country will play host to a packed performance schedule featuring local musicians and talent. Today FM will feature live performances throughout the day while taking time to explore all sides of the homelessness crisis through live interviews.
Raising funds is as easy as Do-Re-Mi! So, stretch those vocal cords and get involved in The Big Busk for Focus Ireland by joining your local Focus Ireland-organised Big Busk event, or by organising your own community event.
Focus Ireland will be holding events in Kent Station in Cork, as well as a range of other nationwide locations:
Cork (Kent station)
Dublin (Connolly & Heuston stations, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre)
Kilkenny (MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre),
Limerick (Crescent Shopping Centre)
Sligo (Johnston Court Shopping Centre)
You can show your support for The Big Busk by registering to take part, or by donating to Focus Ireland. For more information, please visit thebigbusk.focusireland.ie or call 01 8815900
Pat Dennigan, CEO, Focus Ireland said “The numbers of people homeless continues to rise. It is shocking that nearly 3,500 children are now homeless, and we really need you to support events like the Big Busk to raise vital funds for our work. We are working hard every day and our specially trained staff can help to protect children from the terrible trauma caused by homelessness and help families to secure a home. Come join us in our efforts and join the fight against homelessness. Along with all the music and busking, art has always been a way to communicate messages and emotions, we hope to add that element to The Big Busk 2023. Join us and sign up for your local event, or organise your own, as every effort will help us reach out €250,000 goal.”
Speaking on the launch, Pamela Joyce, Presenter at Today FM said: “We are so excited to be bringing The Big Busk for Focus Ireland back for another year, and this year we’re going for even bigger and better! We’re already counting down the days to March 10th, where we’re calling on buskers from across the country to get involved and raise much needed funds for Focus Ireland. I’ve even be roped into doing my own busk live on air to the nation so I’m going to need an army of buskers to join me on the day! We want buskers of all ages and abilities to gather their guitars and warm up those vocal cords and help us in the fight to end homelessness in Ireland.”
Matt Cooper, Presenter at Today FM commented: “Homelessness figures in the country are currently at an all-time high, with almost 12,000 people currently without a home in Ireland. The homeless crisis in Ireland is a huge problem that needs addressing, and we need your help to do what we can to bring these stark figures down. That is why we want you to get involved by signing up for The Big Busk for Focus Ireland on March 10th and raise some much needed funds for this worthy cause. You can get involved by busking at one of our designated busking spots across the country or you can h