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Sleep out raises thousands for charities

Young people from the Diocese of Derry have helped raise both funds and awareness for the issue of homelessness.

Young people from the Diocese of Derry have helped raise both funds and awareness for the issue of homelessness.

Almost teenagers between 15 and 18 years of age recently took part in a Stay Awake Sleep Out event at St Eugene’s Cathedral, with parishes across the diocese represented.

The event raised much-needed funds for a number of local charities.

Lizzie Rea, Diocesan Youth Co-ordinator, said: “The event provided a platform for the young people of Derry Diocese to meet their peers and discuss what homelessness and rooflessness means in their own communities.”

Speakers at the event included representatives from Damien House, Ashmore House and Methodist City Mission and Lizzie said their words had an impact on the young people.

She said: “Each speaker gave an account of what their charity is involved in and how anyone can be homeless at any point in their life.

“Through inspirational testimonies, young people in the diocese got to hear first-hand what these charities do.”

The event raised £3,700 to be split equally between five charities, with Damien House, the Simon Community, De Paul Ireland, Ashmore House and Methodist City Mission all to benefit.

All of the benefitting charities work locally with people who are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Lizzie thanked all those who helped make the event possible.

She said: “The Youth Ministry team would like to take this opportunity to thank Saint Eugene’s Cathedral for the use of the Church and Parish Hall and Fr. Malachy Gallagher, who said celebrated Mass.

“We want to recognise the team of 30 volunteers who assisted throughout the night.

We would also like to extend our thanks to Matt’s Bistro, Dominos, Doherty’s Bakery, Paolo’s Pizzas, and Eskimo Café and Doherty Meats, who donated food on the night.”

For information on upcoming events, the Diocesan Youth Calendar is available on the Derry Diocesan website, www.derrydiocese.org

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