Stephanie Power, second left, Limerick Solicitors’ Bar Association president presenting a cheque for €2,000 to Una Burns, Novas with colleagues Elizabeth Walsh and Niamh White
LIMERICK Solicitors’ Bar Association has honoured the memory of Louise Casey by making a donation in her name to Novas.
The 31-year-old died in the stairwell of a vacant city building, where she had taken shelter from the cold, comforted with just a sleeping bag and a few pieces of cardboard in 2016.
Stephanie Power, president of the Limerick Solicitors’ Bar Association, said they have had a long association with the homeless charity.
“The tragic lonely death of Louise Casey, may she rest in peace, who was found dead in an outdoor basement area on Catherine Street last November, was a stark reminder to all of the plight of the homeless in Limerick. Louise been a regular service user of Novas.
“Our donation made in memory of Louise and all who have perished on our streets will be applied to the intensive family support unit, which currently deals with some 110 families in Limerick alone. Many of Novas’ services rely wholly on charitable donations. Their resources will come under increasing pressure in the run up to Christmas,” said Ms Power.
Una Burns, head of policy and communications with Novas Limerick, thanked the solicitors for their “hugely generous donation” of €2,000.
“This is the second time they have donated to Novas services so we very much appreciate that continued support. Their donation is going directly to our intensive family support service in the city. That works at about 110 families at any one time – it is particularly important at this time of the year. Donations like this enable us to support them around Christmas,” said Ms Burns. The unit helps families who are either homeless or at a risk of homelessness.
“We try to do prevention work to keep families in their home and to support families that are already homeless – those that are living in B&B accommodation, sofa surfing or living in over crowded accommodation. We try to support them in terms of access to accommodation, budgeting, paying bills, accessing schools for their children especially if they have to travel long distances to school,” said Ms Burns.
In 2016, Novas worked with 196 families.
“That was an increase of a 100% from 2015. We don’t have full figures for 2017 yet but we are definitely talking of another rise again,” she said. Novas also runs a toy appeal every Christmas.
“Last year, we supported over 700 children through the toy appeal. We provided gifts at Christmas time for children that their parents might not be able to guarantee. That was all through public donations of new toys and we are immensely grateful,” said Ms Burns. Toys can be dropped into Novas on 1 Mungret Street or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more.